Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Existing Home Sales- 3.23.2010

Via Bloomberg:

Demand for existing homes remained extremely weak in February with sales at a 5.02 million annual rate for a 0.6 percent decline from January. The seasonal build in supply, at 8.6 months vs. 7.8 in January and 7.2 in December, is the steepest in the last 20 years. The build has been holding down prices which are at a median $165,100, up 0.1 percent from February, and at an average $210,500, down 0.8 percent on the month.

The single-family component, which makes up the vast bulk of sales, fell 1.4 percent in the month to a 4.37 million rate. Distressed sales made up 35 percent of total sales vs. 38 percent in January. All-cash sales, reflecting tight credit and low prices, are extraordinarily high at 27 percent. Regional data show special month-on-month and year-on-year weakness in the still-troubled West followed by weakness in the South which is by far the largest region. The Midwest and Northeast, in perhaps the best news in the report, showed strength in February.

The National Association of Realtors, which compiles the report, still expects to see a surge in sales surrounding the second-round expiration of tax credits this spring. But the housing market is in limbo right now, depending on stimulus effects which even if they do appear point to new trouble at mid-year, es
pecially if mortgage rates begin to rise. New home sales will be posted tomorrow.

Patrick M. Ambrus
Managing Partner
Analyze Capital LLC

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