Reclaiming Common Sense

September Existing Home Sales on Track for 5.5 Million Units, Annually

The monthly existing home report went over like a lead balloon. The economists at the REALTORS are not as optimistic as the data is. The REALTORS note that the seasonally adjusted data rose by 0.7% during September. The reality is that existing units dropped from September 2016 and were slightly lower than September 2015. The units sold were better than September 2002. It is important to note that the average sales price set a new high for the month of September. 

The Average sales price edged higher from last year's  $277,100 to $286,700. We had seen declining average sales prices from 2005 through 2011. WE are now on the upside and higher than we were last year. The units sold were 465,000 units. This was a slight decline from last year's 486,000 and September 2015's 471,000 units. This was still higher than the 457,000 units sold during 2002, as the market was rising.

The Current Year Sales is on track to be better than 2016 - roughly 5.5 million units. The current year data through September is between the pace of 2002 and 2016. If we average the two years then we should see 5.541 million units sold.

The Rolling Year data is at 5.504 Million units. We have sold more units through September this year than September last year, as is referenced in the current year data. We have a better rolling year number this year than last year with 5.504 million units sold this year compared to the 5.385 rolling year value for September 2016. If we sell 119,000 more units this year than we sold last year then 5.6 million is within our reach. The rolling year data is slightly lower than the current year trend so this should indicate that we are still rising.

Only Inventory will hold us back from going higher - Only 1.90 Million Units. We had 1.99 million units available during September of 1999. We had 1.96 million units available during September of 2000. We have not had inventory this low during this time of year since then. This January's level dropped below 1.7 million. Will the inventory level continue to slide? This may be a "Field of Dreams" market - If you List it they will come.

The data was good, not great this week. Keep in mind that all real estate is local. We had housing take a hit in Florida and Texas. These  hurricane impacted markets may be masking good data elsewhere. These market certainly had home on the market that have to delay closings due to damage. Some buyers may have "walked" from the deals. This could be a situation where sales are "denied" or "delayed." There was data on workers at the state level that revealed that the numbers of workers fell in Florida and Rose in Texas from August to September. Unemployment fell in both states.  This means that the economies are still relatively sound. Demand is still present. Supply is low. Where demand is relatively high and supply is low prices will rise. The more that people report on rising prices, the more likely that people who are "on the fence" regarding selling their homes may jump into the market.

It's the Economy.