Some analysts feel the homebuyer tax credits artificially boosted the housing market by pushing forward home sales that would have happened later. Others feel most buyers would have bought anyway. In any case, there's now concern about a coming drop in sales. Well, June sales figures should still benefit from activity spurred on by the tax credits. And tax credit sales should even help monthly reports through September, now that buyers in contract on April 30 have been given until September 30 to close.
Last week May existing home sales came in UP 19.2% over a year ago. Nonetheless, after beating expectations three months in a row, monthly sales fell short of the gain expected, off 2.2%. But the months' supply of existing homes dropped from 8.4 to 8.3 months, as inventory slid to 3.89 million homes. And the median price is rebounding, UP 2.7% over last year. Finally, the April FHFA home price index was UP 0.8% for homes financed with conforming mortgages.
The week ended on the most dramatically impressive new home sales numbers in 47 years. March's 26.9% increase was the biggest monthly sales gain since 1963, taking us to a 411,000 annual rate! Supply dropped to 6.7 months, inventories fell to 228,000 and the median price went to $214,000, up 4.3% versus last year. Some put the sales surge to the soon-to-expire tax credit, but the facts remain that the economy IS recovering and homes ARE substantially more affordable!
The National Association of Realtors last Thursday reported existing home sales UP 27.2% for the last three months of 2009 versus a year earlier. This amounted to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6 million homes. -- a 13.9% increase over the third quarter's annual rate of 5.29 million homes. Clearly, buyers are taking advantage of the low mortgage interest rates and the tax credit that was extended and expanded by Congress.
The week began with December Existing Home Sales dropping 16.7%. Some observers felt this was the result of uncertainty over the homebuyer tax credit, scheduled to expire at the end of November.
Both Weekly Unemployment Claims and Retails sales missed expectations as [...]