Existing home sales in May, likely reflecting contract signings in January thru April, totaled 3.91mm annualized and that is below the estimate of 4.09mm and down from 4.33mm in April. This is the slowest pace since 2010 but we of course know the main reason. The supply did increase which it always does in the Spring but combined with the lower sales count brought the months’ supply up to 4.8 from 4.0. First time buyers made up 34% of total sales vs 36% in April , 34% in March and 32% in February. After pretty robust price gains in the 1st 4 months of the year (again measuring closings, not contract signings), the median home price rose 2.3% y/o/y.
Bottom line, this number is really meaningless in that the pace of contract signings certainly collapsed in March and April and things were still shutdown in May in many places. We’ve definitely seen in the recent new home sales data and mortgage apps that the housing market is seeing better demand thanks in part to the desire for suburban living. At some point though, the pace of housing transactions will need to correlate to the underlying economy in terms of job and wage growth.
EXISTING HOME SALES