The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimated that home sales this July ran at a SAAR of 4.67 million, a rise above the 4.24 million viewed in August of last year.
This past August, however, had one more business day than the last, which has lead NAR analysts to expect a seasonal adjustment of about 1.5 – 2.0 percent. The resulting adjustment has rendered the NAR to give a “flat” reading for existing home sales this August. While lower than earlier expected, NAR analysts have inferred from this a YOY gain in NSA sales between 11.8 and 12.3 percent.
Economist Tom Lawler doesn’t foresee a “flat” reading in his forecast. “The reports that have come in suggest to me that existing home sales in August rebounded from July on a seasonally adjusted basis.” Lawler however points out that not enough real estate associations have released their stats to give a concrete national reading.
Analysts at Calculated Risk, an economics and financial blog, have a more positive forecast in their sights. They expect the national YOY gain to be well above the NAR forecast at 16.8 percent with a seasonally adjusted SAAR of 4.87 million, a roughly 4.3 percent gain from July. Calculated Risk interprets the increase to arise from a combination of increased cancellations and delays from contracts to closing.
Only time will tell whose forecast proves to be correct as more Realtor associations and boards release their statistics.