The U.S. 1.4% October existing home sales rise
The U.S. 1.4% October existing home sales rise to a slightly stronger than expected 5.22 M clip put a small cap on a six-month string of declines. Analysts saw a 1.9% bounce in the South, likely reflecting some recovery from Florence despite a hit from hurricane Michael, while the remaining regions exhibited a small net rise. Existing home sales sit 5.1% below their year-ago level, and analysts expect a 1.5% rate of decline in Q4 after contraction rates of 10.0% in Q3 and 6.6% in Q2. Analysts expect existing home sales to fall by 3.1% in 2018, after gains (via the average monthly SA rate) of 1.7% in 2017, 4.1% in 2016, 6.2% in 2015. Analysts saw a seasonal 0.6% median price drop, after declines through the three months of Q3, leaving a y/y gain of 3.8%. Inventories fell 1.6% in October to leave a lean 2.8% y/y increase, while the months' supply slipped to back to 4.3 from 4.4, versus 4.3 in the prior three months. Analysts have cyclical increases of 51% for existing home sales and 37% for pending home sales, versus larger cyclical gains of 117% for new home sales, 157% for housing starts, and 146% for permits. The housing sector entered Q4 on a weak trajectory, and hurricane Florence likely disrupted September sales before emerging headwinds from Hurricane Michael in October and from California fires and cold northern state weather in November.