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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monthly Existing Home Sales

The Augusts existing home sales number came out today, which is an annualized number of residential buildings that were sold during the previous month, excluding new construction.  The forecasted number for August was 4.11 million and the actual headline number was 4.13 million.   The market took this as a positive sign in the face of negative news on initial unemployment claims.  This 4.13 million headline number beat the July's revised number of 3.84 million.
In the release Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist said the following:

Home values have shown stabilizing trends over the past year, even as the economy shed millions of jobs, because of the home buyer tax credit stimulus. Now that the economy is adding some jobs, the housing market needs to steadily improve and eventually stand on its own.
I am going to assume Mr. Yun did not see the employment numbers prior to making this statement as initial claims spiked up and 465,000 people initiated an initial unemployment claim in the past week (12,000 more than the prior weeks revised number).  NAR President, Vicki Cox Golder, said the following about the housing market:

People understand the good affordability conditions with stable home prices in most areas, but they’re concerned about the economy and speculation on Wall Street
We need to stick with the facts about the long-term value of homeownership and avoid unrealistic assessments. Tight credit and slow short sales are ongoing problems – expediting short sales will help the market to recover more quickly.
The price range that sold a majority of the existing homes were houses priced between 0 - 500K ( 89% of the sales) and 500K+ ( 11% of the sales) U.S. wide.  The chart below shows the sales distribution based on house prices.


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