MBA Chart of the Week: Existing Home Sales

Existing home sales fell during July and August when measured at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the National Association of Realtors reported.  

This week’s chart plots the monthly, unadjusted estimate of existing home sales over the last three years in order to compare both the month to month and year-over-year changes in this series.  Through June, unadjusted monthly home sales have varied between 2 and 7 percent above 2015 sales each month.  

While July was unusually low, August sales rebounded to 7 percent higher than a year ago when measured on an unadjusted basis, more in line with previous months’ trends.

Home purchase applications for both new and existing home sales from MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey have also been up on a year-over-year basis throughout 2016. Purchase applications grew more quickly during the first quarter of this year, due to the relative weakness of the year prior. Purchase applications have decelerated some on a year over year basis recently, averaging close to 8 percent above the same week last year over the last three months.

To view the Chart of the Week, click  

(Lynn Fisher is vice president of research and economics with the Mortgage Bankers Association; she can be reached at Joel Kan associate vice president of economic forecasting with MBA; he can be reached at