NAR’s Existing Home Sales numbers continue to edge higher. In this chart I annualize the non-seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted results. Think there isn’t seasonality in housing sales?
Here’s a good summary by Peter Coy at Bloomberg Businessweek.
No doubt a big reason was the improvement in affordability. The interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has continued falling since the period covered by the NAR report, portending better times ahead. Freddie Mac (FMCC), the mortgage-buying giant, says the rate was 3.79 percent in the week ended May 17, the lowest since it began keeping records in 1971. The Realtors’s index of affordability hit a record high in the January-March quarter. It factors in sales prices of existing homes, mortgage rates, and household income, which is slowly strengthening as the labor market improves.
And here’s a trend on inventory and absorption (months supply). Inventory continues to slide (not seasonally adjusted).