About Those "Upbeat" May Existing Home Sales: Down 5% Y/Y; Up Only In $1Million+ Bucket

 

By Trey Garrison at HousingWire

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but just like the Grim Reaper has a job to do, so do I.

The National Association of Realtors says that  existing home sales rose by 4.9% over April’s numbers.

Party, right? No.

The 4.9% increase in sales from April to May that’s making the dutifully exuberant headlines in the mainstream financial press isn’t the story.

For starters, while an increase of 4.9% over April isn’t bad, May’s existing home sales are 5% down from May 2013.

Click below to view the chart.

This comes after existing home sales rose 1.3%, the first increase in 2014. (Feeling the recovery now?)

But that’s not the worst of it.

The devil is in the details and the details don’t make it into the press release.

For starters, the slowdown in activity in the West, the largest housing region doesn’t bode well, although it was refreshing to see that much activity in the Midwest.

But of the price buckets, only the one for homes priced over $1 million saw year-over-year increases in sales.

Click below to view the chart.

Compare that to the bucket breakdown in April, which at least saw a few puddles of activity in the other three top buckets.

Click below to view the chart.

So in April, there were at least some gains in sales in the $250,000-$1 million range, but in May -- it was all downhill except the $1 million-plus bucket.

Here’s how the sales broke down by percentage within the price buckets.

Click below to view the chart.

So, you know, hooray?

 

http://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/30404-charts-show-the-phony-thrill-of-mays-existing-home-sales

 

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