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According to the Wall Street Journal, “Sales of previously owned homes fell 0.9% from a month earlier to an annual rate of 5.33 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.”
But that figure quoted by the National Association of Realtors (and repeated by the venerable Wall Street Journal) is based on SEASONALLY ADJUSTED sales.
This is a closer view since the crash of home prices and the financial crisis.
Note that seasonal factor. Existing home sales (using raw or non seasonally adjusted data) usually peaks in June of every year, or these is a dual-peak in June and August.
The actual print was 5.41 million using raw data. Using seasonally adjusted data, existing homes sales SAAR was only 5.33 million.
So, the August existing home sales report for August (NSA) was actually positive relative to the seasonally-adjusted figure.
Or as Maxwell Smart said, “Missed it by that much.”