Existing home sales dipped 2.7% in August
The August existing home sales figures were just released. Here's what the numbers looked like:
* Existing home sales fell 2.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.1 million units from 5.24 million in July. That was below the 5.35 million units that economists were expecting.
* Single-family sales dropped 2.8%, while condo and cooperative sales fell 1.6%. By region, sales fell in most parts of the country. They were down 3.1% in the South, 2.2% in the Northeast, and 6.6% in the Midwest. Sales gained 2.7% in the West.
* The raw number of homes for sale dropped 10.8% to 3.622 million units from 4.062 million in July. Supply was off 16.4% from a year earlier. The months supply at current sales pace indicator of inventory dropped to 8.5 from 9.3. Single family inventory fell to 8.2 from 8.5, while condo inventory slipped to 12 from 14.5.
* The median price of an existing home dropped 2.1% to $177,700 from $181,500 in July. That was down 12.5% from $203,200 in the year-ago period.
The existing home market hit a speed bump in August. Sales fell for both condos and single family homes, and in three out of four regions the country. It shouldn't be much of a surprise to see sales take a breather after four straight gains, including the biggest monthly rise ever in July.
There was also some encouraging news on the inventory front. The raw number of homes for sale dropped more than 16% year-on-year, while the month supply at current sales pace indicator fell to its lowest level since April 2007. So yes, the August figures are somewhat disappointing. But no, they don't derail the overall recovery thesis.