Calculated Risk: Existing Home Sales: Lawler vs. the Consensus


by Calculated Risk on 3/24/2024 08:21:00 AM

Housing economist Tom Lawler has been sending me his predictions of what the NAR will report for almost 14 years.  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 week, for February 2024, the NAR reported sales of 4.38 million SAAR, and Tom Lawler had estimated they would report sales of 4.40 million (almost exact).   Meanwhile, the consensus was way too low at 3.94 million SAAR.

Over the last 14 years, the consensus average miss was 141 thousand (median 110 thousand), and Lawler’s average miss was 72 thousand (median 60 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 5.86
Jul-21 5.84 5.86 5.99
Aug-21 5.88 5.90 5.88
Sep-21 6.06 6.20 6.29
Oct-21 6.20 6.34 6.34
Nov-21 6.20 6.45 6.46
Dec-21 6.45 6.33 6.18
Jan-22 6.12 6.36 6.50
Feb-22 6.16 5.97 6.02
Mar-22 5.80 5.74 5.77
Apr-22 5.62 5.57 5.61
May-22 5.41 5.35 5.41
Jun-22 5.40 5.12 5.12
Jul-22 4.88 4.90 4.81
Aug-22 4.70 4.84 4.80
Sep-22 4.69 4.82 4.71
Oct-22 4.39 4.49 4.43
Nov-22 4.20 4.16 4.09
Dec-22 3.95 3.96 4.02
Jan-23 4.10 4.18 4.00
Feb-23 4.18 4.51 4.58
Mar-23 4.50 4.51 4.44
Apr-23 4.30 4.33 4.28
May-23 4.24 4.25 4.30
Jun-23 4.23 4.26 4.16
Jul-23 4.15 4.06 4.07
Aug-23 4.10 4.07 4.04
Sep-23 3.94 4.00 3.96
Oct-23 3.93 3.94 3.79
Nov-23 3.78 3.87 3.82
Dec-23 3.84 3.84 3.78
Jan-24 3.97 4.02 4.00
Feb-24 3.94 4.40 4.38
1NAR initially reported before revisions.



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