By Jill Mislinski
Thursday morning's release of the August Existing-Home Sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million units from the previous month's 5.42M. The Investing.com consensus was for 5.37 million. The latest number represents a 1.3% increase from the previous month and a 2.6% increase year over year.
Here is an excerpt from today's report from the National Association of Realtors.
"Sales are up, but inventory numbers remain low and are thereby pushing up home prices," said Yun. "Homebuilders need to ramp up new housing, as the failure to increase construction will put home prices in danger of increasing at a faster pace than income." [Full Report]
For a longer-term perspective, here is a snapshot of the data series, which comes from the National Association of Realtors. The data since January 1999 was previously available in the St. Louis Fed's FRED repository and is now only available from January 2018. It can be found here.
Over this time frame, we clearly see the Real Estate Bubble, which peaked in 2005 and then fell dramatically. Sales were volatile for the first year or so following the Great Recession.
The Population-Adjusted Reality
Now, let's examine the data with a simple population adjustment. The Census Bureau's mid-month population estimates show an 18.6% increase in the US population since the turn of the century. The snapshot below is an overlay of the NAR's annualized estimates with a population-adjusted version.
Existing-home sales are 5.0% above the NAR's January 2000 estimate. The population-adjusted version is 10.5% below the turn-of-the-century sales.
Existing-Home Sales Median Prices for Single-Family Homes
We've added a chart for the last 12 months of existing-home sales median prices for single-family homes for reference.
The next release of existing-home sales will be on October 22.
Editor's Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.