Declining Sales, Record Price

"Consumers are facing much higher home prices, rising mortgage rates, and falling affordability, however, buyers are still actively in the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist in a Housing Report.

Report Highlights

  • The median existing-home sales price in March rose by a record-breaking annual pace of 17.2% to a historic high of $329,100, with all regions posting double-digit price gains. The median existing-single-family home sales price jumped 18.4% to $334,500, both historic highs.
  • Existing-home sales fell 3.7% from the prior month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.01 million as sales in all major regions declined. From one year ago when home sales first started to fall due to the pandemic, sales are higher by 12.3%.
  • As of the end of March, housing inventory slightly rose to 1.07 million units, down by 28.2% year-over-year. Properties typically sold in 18 days, a record low.

Consensus vs. Results

Actual sales in March were 6.010 translating into a month-over-month decline of 3.7%. 

That's on the heels of a 6.6% decline (revised to a 6.3% decline) in February.

The Econoday consensus this month was 6.205 million sales again missing the mark significantly. 

Ahead of the report, Econoday commented "Existing home sales missed expectations significantly in February at a 6.220 million annual rate. And March's expectations aren't calling for any rebound at a consensus 6.205 million."

Year-Over-Year Sales 

Year-Over-Year sales are up 12.3% but that is vs an easy comparison. 

The year-over year comparisons will be ridiculously easy beats for the next three months.

YOY Comparisons Coming Up

  • April: 4.37 Million
  • May: 4.010 Million
  • June: 4.770 Million
  • July: 5.900 Million
  • August: 5.970 Million
  • September: 6.440 Million

In May, look for something on the order of existing sales are up 50% from a year ago. 

Then in September, start looking for year-over-year declines. 

Mish