Existing Home Sales: Lawler vs. the Consensus



Housing economist Tom Lawler has been sending me his predictions of what the NAR will report for 8 years.  The table below shows the consensus for each month, Lawler’s predictions, and the NAR’s initial reported level of sales. 

Lawler hasn’t consistently been closer than the consensus, but usually when there has been a fairly large spread between Lawler’s estimate and the “consensus”, Lawler has been closer.

NOTE: There have been times when Lawler “missed”, but then he pointed out an apparent error in the NAR data – and the subsequent revision corrected that error.  As an example, see: The “Curious Case” of Existing Home Sales in the South in April

The fresh consensus is that the NAR will report sales of 5.55 million. However,  housing economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 5.51 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis.

The consensus is pretty close to Lawler’s estimate for March.  Note: The NAR is scheduled to report March Existing Home Sales on Monday, April 23rd at 10:00 AM ET.

Over the last eight years, the consensus average miss was 145 thousand, and  Lawler’s average miss was 69 thousand.


Existing Home Sales, Forecasts and NAR Report
millions, seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR)
Month Consensus Lawler NAR reported1
May-10 6.20 5.83 5.66
Jun-10 5.30 5.30 5.37
Jul-10 4.66 3.95 3.83
Aug-10 4.10 4.10 4.13
Sep-10 4.30 4.50 4.53
Oct-10 4.50 4.46 4.43
Nov-10 4.85 4.61 4.68
Dec-10 4.90 5.13 5.28
Jan-11 5.20 5.17 5.36
Feb-11 5.15 5.00 4.88
Mar-11 5.00 5.08 5.10
Apr-11 5.20 5.15 5.05
May-11 4.75 4.80 4.81
Jun-11 4.90 4.71 4.77
Jul-11 4.92 4.69 4.67
Aug-11 4.75 4.92 5.03
Sep-11 4.93 4.83 4.91
Oct-11 4.80 4.86 4.97
Nov-11 5.08 4.40 4.42
Dec-11 4.60 4.64 4.61
Jan-12 4.69 4.66 4.57
Feb-12 4.61 4.63 4.59
Mar-12 4.62 4.59 4.48
Apr-12 4.66 4.53 4.62
May-12 4.57 4.66 4.55
Jun-12 4.65 4.56 4.37
Jul-12 4.50 4.47 4.47
Aug-12 4.55 4.87 4.82
Sep-12 4.75 4.70 4.75
Oct-12 4.74 4.84 4.79
Nov-12 4.90 5.10 5.04
Dec-12 5.10 4.97 4.94
Jan-13 4.90 4.94 4.92
Feb-13 5.01 4.87 4.98
Mar-13 5.03 4.89 4.92
Apr-13 4.92 5.03 4.97
May-13 5.00 5.20 5.18
Jun-13 5.27 4.99 5.08
Jul-13 5.13 5.33 5.39
Aug-13 5.25 5.35 5.48
Sep-13 5.30 5.26 5.29
Oct-13 5.13 5.08 5.12
Nov-13 5.02 4.98 4.90
Dec-13 4.90 4.96 4.87
Jan-14 4.70 4.67 4.62
Feb-14 4.64 4.60 4.60
Mar-14 4.56 4.64 4.59
Apr-14 4.67 4.70 4.65
May-14 4.75 4.81 4.89
Jun-14 4.99 4.96 5.04
Jul-14 5.00 5.09 5.15
Aug-14 5.18 5.12 5.05
Sep-14 5.09 5.14 5.17
Oct-14 5.15 5.28 5.26
Nov-14 5.20 4.90 4.93
Dec-14 5.05 5.15 5.04
Jan-15 5.00 4.90 4.82
Feb-15 4.94 4.87 4.88
Mar-15 5.04 5.18 5.19
Apr-15 5.22 5.20 5.04
May-15 5.25 5.29 5.35
Jun-15 5.40 5.45 5.49
Jul-15 5.41 5.64 5.59
Aug-15 5.50 5.54 5.31
Sep-15 5.35 5.56 5.55
Oct-15 5.41 5.33 5.36
Nov-15 5.32 4.97 4.76
Dec-15 5.19 5.36 5.46
Jan-16 5.32 5.36 5.47
Feb-16 5.30 5.20 5.08
Mar-16 5.27 5.27 5.33
Apr-16 5.40 5.44 5.45
May-16 5.64 5.55 5.53
Jun-16 5.48 5.62 5.57
Jul-16 5.52 5.41 5.39
Aug-16 5.44 5.49 5.33
Sep-16 5.35 5.55 5.47
Oct-16 5.44 5.47 5.60
Nov-16 5.54 5.60 5.61
Dec-16 5.54 5.55 5.49
Jan-17 5.55 5.60 5.69
Feb-17 5.55 5.41 5.48
Mar-17 5.61 5.74 5.71
Apr-17 5.67 5.56 5.57
May-17 5.55 5.65 5.62
Jun-17 5.58 5.59 5.52
Jul-17 5.57 5.38 5.44
Aug-17 5.48 5.39 5.35
Sep-17 5.30 5.38 5.39
Oct-17 5.30 5.60 5.48
Nov-17 5.52 5.77 5.81
Dec-17 5.75 5.66 5.57
Jan-18 5.65 5.48 5.38
Feb-18 5.42 5.44 5.54
Mar-18 5.55 5.51
1NAR originally reported ahead of revisions.


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