Existing-home sales fell in May, marking a three-month decline in sales as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major regions witnessed dips in month-over-month and year-over-year sales, with the Northeast experiencing the greatest month-over-month drop.
Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slumped 9.7% from April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 3.91 million in May. Overall, sales fell year-over-year, down 26.6% from a year ago (5.33 million in May 2019).
Total housing inventory at the end of May totaled 1.55 million units, up 6.2% from April, and down 18.8% from one year ago (1.91 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.0 months in April and up from the 4.3-month figure recorded in May 2019.
Click on graph for larger image.
This graph shows existing home sales, on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) basis since 1993.
Sales in May (3.91 million SAAR) were down 9.7% from last month, and were 26.6% below the May 2019 sales rate.
The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.
According to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.55 million in May from 1.46 million in April. Headline inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventory usually decreases to the seasonal lows in December and January, and peaks in mid-to-late summer.
The last graph shows the year-over-year (YoY) change in reported existing home inventory and months-of-supply. Since inventory is not seasonally adjusted, it really helps to look at the YoY change. Note: Months-of-supply is based on the seasonally adjusted sales and not seasonally adjusted inventory.
Inventory was down 18.8% year-over-year in May compared to May 2019.
Months of supply increased to 4.8 months in May.
This was below the consensus forecast. I’ll have more later … but I expect closed sales to rebound in coming months.