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Tag Archives: Pending-Home Sales

New Home Sales Rise in March as Prices Plummet

After experiencing the sharpest drop in two years in February, new home sales increased 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000 in March, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected March sales to increase to 419,000 from a February's originally reported 411,000. The median price of a new home, according to the Census-HUD report, plunged $17,900 (or 6.8 percent) in March to $247,000, the largest month-over-month decline since February 2011.

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Commentary: No News Is…

Sometimes a story just fits--and sometimes it doesn't. Given that maxim, the explanation from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for the drop in the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) for February has to be viewed with a jaundiced eye. According to the NAR, the PHSI dropped because of the low inventory of homes for sale. Of course, that wasn't offered as an explanation one month earlier, when the inventory of homes for sale dropped, and the PHSI increased.

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Commentary: Headlines and Bottom Lines

One of the most interesting results of poring through economic data reports is that the details often tell a different story than the headline. Coverage of the recent report on housing permits and starts, for example, was dominated by the increases in both metrics, suggesting a revival of the housing sector, a response some analysts suggested is due to tight inventories of existing-single family homes on the market. However, a closer look revealed a more important phenomenon.

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Existing Home Sales, Prices Up in February

Existing-home sales rose 0.8 percent in February to 4.98 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Economists had expected the sales pace to climb to 5.01 million from January├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós originally reported 4.92 million. January sales were revised up to 4.94 million.

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