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Monday, March 21, 2011

Monthly Existing Home Sales

The February existing home sales number was abysmal today.  The Existing home sales number is an annualized number of residential buildings that were sold during the previous month, excluding new construction. It is considered a leading indicator of economic health due to the ripple effects it has in the economy (finance, furniture and home improvement).  The forecast called for 5.15 million, but the actual headline number is 4.88 million.  This was a 9.6% decrease in existing home sales from January's revised number of 5.4 million.  

Lawrence Yun the NAR chief economist remarked:
“Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home sales are being constrained by the twin problems of unnecessarily tight credit, and a measurable level of contract cancellations from some appraisals not supporting prices negotiated between buyers and sellers,” he said. “This tug and pull is causing a gradual but uneven recovery. Existing-home sales remain 26.4 percent above the cyclical low last July.”

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