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Existing Home Sales: Lawler vs. the Consensus

by Calculated Risk on 7/20/2021 12:15:00 PM

Housing economist Tom Lawler has been sending me his predictions of what the NAR will report for over 11 years. And he has graciously allowed me to share his predictions with the readers of this blog.

The table below shows the consensus for each month, Lawler’s predictions, and the NAR’s initially reported level of sales.

Lawler hasn’t always 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.

For example, last month Lawler estimated the NAR would report sales of 5.78 million SAAR, the consensus was 5.74 million SAAR, and the NAR reported 5.80 million SAAR.

The NAR is scheduled to release Existing Home Sales for June at 10:00 AM, Thursday, July 22nd.

The consensus is for 5.90 million SAAR in June, up from 5.80 million in May. Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 5.79 million SAAR. Based on Lawler’s estimate, I expect existing home sales to be slightly below the consensus in June.

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

Over the last 11+ years, the consensus average miss was 147 thousand, and Lawler’s average miss was 73 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 5.28 5.51 5.60
Apr-18 5.60 5.48 5.46
May-18 5.56 5.47 5.43
Jun-18 5.45 5.35 5.38
Jul-18 5.43 5.40 5.34
Aug-18 5.36 5.36 5.34
Sep-18 5.30 5.20 5.15
Oct-18 5.20 5.31 5.22
Nov-18 5.19 5.23 5.32
Dec-18 5.24 4.97 4.99
Jan-19 5.05 4.92 4.94
Feb-19 5.08 5.46 5.51
Mar-19 5.30 5.40 5.21
Apr-19 5.36 5.31 5.19
May-19 5.29 5.40 5.34
Jun-19 5.34 5.25 5.27
Jul-19 5.39 5.40 5.42
Aug-19 5.38 5.42 5.49
Sep-19 5.45 5.36 5.38
Oct-19 5.49 5.36 5.46
Nov-19 5.45 5.43 5.35
Dec-19 5.43 5.40 5.54
Jan-20 5.45 5.42 5.46
Feb-20 5.50 5.58 5.77
Mar-20 5.30 5.25 5.27
Apr-20 4.30 4.17 4.33
May-20 4.38 3.80 3.91
Jun-20 4.86 4.65 4.72
Jul-20 5.39 5.85 5.86
Aug-20 6.00 5.92 6.00
Sep-20 6.25 6.38 6.54
Oct-20 6.45 6.63 6.85
Nov-20 6.70 6.50 6.69
Dec-20 6.55 6.62 6.76
Jan-21 6.60 6.48 6.69
Feb-21 6.51 6.29 6.22
Mar-21 6.17 6.02 6.01
Apr-21 6.09 5.96 5.85
May-21 5.74 5.78 5.80
Jun-21 5.90 5.79 NA
1NAR initially reported before revisions.

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