RISMedia, May 21, 2011—Realogy Corporation reported that based on closed and open home sale contract information from its franchisees and company-owned brokerage operations, it expects that the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of existing home sales on a national basis should remain between 5.0 million to 5.2 million in each of April and May 2011.
On that SAAR basis, existing home sales this year are tracking ahead of the full-year 2010 pace, even without the benefit of a Home Buyer Tax credit. Realogy also expects a modest increase in its average home sales price in April and May 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, which is consistent with the 2 percent increase the Company reported for the first quarter of 2011. Realogy has approximately 740 company-owned offices and approximately 3,500 franchisees across the United States.
“While a 5.0 to 5.2 million SAAR unit existing home sales for April 2011, which is the expected range among economists, would represent a 10 percent to 14 percent decline from 2010 activity, the April and May unit home sales trend would continue the monthly sequential average gain we have seen since the end of the 2010 tax credit impact,” says Realogy president and CEO Richard A. Smith. “Because the impact of the Homebuyer Tax Credit peaked in the second quarter of 2010, we expected to see a year-over-year decline in home sale transactions in the second quarter of 2011 both at Realogy and in the housing market in general. We believe the fact that our average sales prices are holding steady compared to last year is a strong positive.”
Smith continues, “We expect the same factors causing a negative year-over-year comparison in the second quarter of 2011 to reverse in the third quarter. Looking beyond the second quarter, if NAR’s current seasonally adjusted annual rate holds steady at approximately 5.0 million units in national sales, then home sale transactions during the third quarter of 2011 will likely experience year-over-year increases of approximately 20 percent compared to 2010.”
Key Realogy Take-Aways for Housing Market:
• Realogy sees a continuation of sequential average monthly improvement in national home sales on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis since July 2010. To date, 2011 is tracking ahead of full-year 2010 on a SAAR basis.
• Average home sale prices at Realogy’s franchise and company-owned brokerages in April and May 2011 have increased modestly from the same period a year ago, consistent with the 2% increase Realogy reported in the first quarter of 2011.
• As anticipated, year-over-year home sale comparisons for second quarter 2011 will decrease significantly from 2010.
• In the third quarter of 2011, Realogy expects those same comparisons to reflect significant year-over-year increases in home sale units.