Statistically Speaking: NAR and Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate

Patricia Eisenhauer's picture
Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate NAR

Fox news reported from Washington AP, that U.S. homes sold faster in September this year than was reported at this time last year. Sales of existing homes it was reported by the National Association of Realtors rose 2.4 per cent in a month. This news was followed by the statement that this was the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million. And the sales rate has dropped 1.7 percent over the past twelve months.

Investors have all but dropped out of the market. First time buyers accounted for 29 per cent of sales. Historically first time buyers are about 40 per cent of the buying public.

The follow up statement: “these figures suggest that last year’s sales decline has ended. Although they report, home buying is unlikely to surge back immediately.

Median home prices rose 5.6 per cent over the past 12 months. Still median incomes have not kept pace.
I am confused, and I am active in this real estate market. Further we are to believe that income growth and tighter credit standards have pushed some of the prospective buyers out of the competition. Many homeowners are still suffering from the melt down.

Back in March an attractively priced home in a nice neighborhood was the target of bidding wars. Cash was king and even those offers were countered by sellers. Time and terms of contracts entered the picture. These transactions are now hovering around 44 per cent as opposed to the 75 per cent activity in March of last year.

September sales improved in the South and the West compared to August Realtors predict that 4.94 million existing homes will be sold this year as compared to 5.09 million in 1913. Then they offered the statement that pending sales are a barometer for this future activity. Also I read that it takes one to two months from pending (the offer to be accepted) to closing. Unless we are referring to squeaky clean credit reports, substantial down payment and good work history, these sales particularly those mistakenly called “short sales” will stretch out a month or two more.

The final statement of this enlightening report is “construction data suggests a shift away from homeownership toward renting”. Thus apartment construction has surged 30.3 per cent over the past. That is almost 3 times the rate of growth for single family homes.

Of course these statements are made relating to the seasonally adjusted annual rate.

Would you mind putting that phrase on my next commission check?

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