Existing Home Sales Resume Annual Drop Despite Weather-Driven Rebound

Existing Home Sales saw a better than expected 1.1% MoM jump in March...(largely thanks to rebounds in the Northeast and Midwest after weather-related weakness)...

March existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 6.3 percent to an annual rate of 680,000, but are still 9.3 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $270,600, which is 3.3 percent above March 2017.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.29 million in March, but are still 1.5 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $192,200, up 5.1 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South decreased 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 2.40 million in March, but are 0.4 percent above a year ago. The median price in the South was $222,400, up 5.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.23 million in March, but are still 0.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $377,100, up 7.9 percent from March 2017.

But, existing home sales dropped 1.2% YoY to 5.6million SAAR. Inventories rose 5.7% - a positive for affordability; but median prices rose 5.8% YoY to $250,400 (more than double wage growth).


Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says closings in March eked forward despite challenging market conditions in most of the country.

"Robust gains last month in the Northeast and Midwest – a reversal from the weather-impacted declines seen in February – helped overall sales activity rise to its strongest pace since last November at 5.72 million," said Yun.

"The unwelcoming news is that while the healthy economy is generating sustained interest in buying a home this spring, sales are lagging year ago levels because supply is woefully low and home prices keep climbing above what some would-be buyers can afford."

"Although the strong job market and recent tax cuts are boosting the incomes of many households, speedy price growth is squeezing overall affordability in several markets – especially those out West," said Yun.


Fiat Burner Mon, 04/23/2018 - 10:15 Permalink

A depression is needed in housing. Too many retards still think buying bubble priced real estate with no money down is the secret to effortless wealth. 

Whoa Dammit Mon, 04/23/2018 - 10:19 Permalink

I am not sure who fudges these median home price stats for the NAR, but the prices they come up with as median are way lower than the true market median prices.  Maybe they are using hedonistic adjustments and are thus considering cardboard boxes to be a part of the housing mix.

Nothing Mon, 04/23/2018 - 10:32 Permalink

The biggest problem here is still the skim ... I can buy or sell large amounts of stocks for $10.00 per trade, but if I want to buy or sell a house there's all kinds of people in line whose palms I must grease to make the deal go through .... if they want to make houses trade faster then they need to kick a bunch of those leeches to the curb ....

snblitz Nothing Mon, 04/23/2018 - 14:37 Permalink

I bought by current house, current value well above the median, with a grant deed and about $1000 worth of title insurance and an $800 inspection both of which I paid for myself.  The is nothing unusual about the house or the property, though apparently there is something unusual about the seller and the buyer.

I and the previous owner did the transaction in a coffee shop not far from the house.

You do not need real estate agents, at least in my state.

I have no idea why people give up 6% of the value of their home using real estate agents.


In reply to by Nothing

karenm Mon, 04/23/2018 - 11:17 Permalink

Yes, the old "Sales are down because there's nothing to buy" excuse.


One of the oldest tricks in the book by the real estate con-men.

IDESofMARCH Mon, 04/23/2018 - 12:00 Permalink

From Hardly any homes 1 to 2 on sale, in April we suddenly have 11 homes listed in a subdivision of 70. That tells me more sellers than buyers.== we're running out of no money purchases.

everything1 Mon, 04/23/2018 - 14:39 Permalink

Back to 2014 with mortgage rates the same as then.  Except prices are higher, so naturally mortgage applications are barely sliding sideways but down a bit, and have been since more or less EOY 2016.  The summer of 2016 was the time to refinance, we've been flat since.  House flipping is at an 11 year high, but that to has been fairly steady since 2010 as well.

I agree with others, rents are up, and am seeing yet more luxury rentals being put up.  It's like c'mon folks, people need affordable housing, country is sick with greed.