Housing Market Like Bull!
A: The National Association of Realtors reported existing homes sold at an annual rate of 6.91 million in February, up from a revised 6.57 million pace in January. The 5.2 percent rise was the biggest gain since a 5.9 percent jump in February 2004. Story.
Although economists surveyed at Briefing.com forecasted a decline to 6.5M last month, the report released today showed surprising strength and proved once again that housing is unlike many other markets with its resilient demand.
The article points out some possible explanations as to why this month's report was so strong:
The surprise pickup in February sales may have been due partly to favorable circumstances in January, as the report is based on when a sale closes, not when a contract is signed.
The trade group's statement said the warmest January on record may have helped to spur sales, while a brief dip in mortgage rates that month also probably helped.
The report also noted that home prices dipped in February when compared to January, but still rose from a yeare earlier.
UrbanDigs Says: While this report offers a fresh of breath air with all the negative talk recently on housing, I still worry that these lagging reports are not very accurate when looking into the future. The article even pointed out, "...as the report is based on when a sale closes, not when a contract is signed." So, we are looking at deals that happened 2-3 months ago and closed in Febraury. Expect this report to show a drop in the coming months which will result in all the experts doing a "see I told you" skit about the cooling housing market.
~ Home Sales Post Biggest Jump in 2 Years