Reclaiming Common Sense

The New Construction Year, New Home Sales Year, and Existing Home Sales Year may have gotten off to a slow start due to the Government Shutdown.

The item that has been overlooked during the recent reports regarding the new home construction data and the new home sales data, other than they were delayed due to the Government Shutdown, is that loans are often required for construction to begin and for sales to commence. Loans go through Washington DC. This is the Spring Real Estate Season and the data may start showing lots of green as both flowers and sales start sprouting. There may have been a delay in blooms due to the Government Shutdown.

Existing Home sales have been Improving as Inventory has started to improve.  Existing Home Inventory was expected to grow month to month and March to March to the 1.68 million to 1.71 million unit level. The average sales price was expected to grow 3% to 6% from last March's level to  between $298,000 and $302,000. It was expected that the number of units sold would come in between 438.000 and 455,000 units or roughly 447,000 units.

Inventory Was up from Month to Month and March to March at 1.684 Million Units. This is higher than it was during March 2018 and lower than it was during March 2017. The March Inventory hit a March low during March 2016 when it was 1.96 million units, single family and condominiums combined.

March Average Sales Price Record Set at $297,200. The Average sales price has steadily climbed since 2012 at roughly the same rate of growth of approximately 3.00%. The rest peak growth in average sales price was March 2016 when we hit 4.14%. This rate dropped to 3.338% during March 2017, 3.31% during March 2018, and 3.02% this March.

Units Sold this March came in at 400,000 total units. This is weaker than what was recorded, non-seasonally adjusted, than March 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Lower inventory than March 2015, 2016, and 2017 will make it harder to exceed the sales data from those years.

Rolling Year sales Came in at 5.272 million Units, down from March 2018 when we had 5.488 million units. The total number of sales during the past twelve months gives us a relative perspective of to where we have been and where we may be heading when compared with the current year data. We are 4.30% lower this march than we were during March 2018. This means that we could end of 4% lower next year, or at roughly 5.252 million units next March.

Current Year Sales stand at 996,000 units. Three points is the bare minimum needed to detect a trend. This is better than what we had during March of 2014 when we had 918,000 units sold year to date (YTD.) The YTD data during March 2015 was 981,000 while the 2016 data was 1.037 million. It had a recent peak during March 2016 when we hit 1.089 million units.

Inventory drives real estate sales. Mortgages are more often than not required to purchase a home. Were sales slowed by the Mainstream Media Mania over a potential fifth rate hike, or a potential recession, or weak December Retail Sales or the Government Shutdown?  Was this a "kink in the hose" or was the water shut off entirely?  There are nearly ten time the number of existing homes sold as new home sold - this month it may be closer to a six to one ratio.  Home sales are retail sales multipliers. Full-time jobs and higher wages are retail multipliers and real estate multipliers. This data was good, not great. Inventory is improving. The Average Sales price is improving, good for home sellers, not so great for home buyers. Units sold are still lagging behind where we were during 2016, 2017, and even 2018.

It's the Economy.