Existing Home Sales totaled 5.35mm, 60k more than expected and up from 5.01mm in Feb. Contracts were likely signed in the Dec-Jan time frame as 1st time buy buyers take advantage of the home buying tax credit before it expires as 44% of buyers were first time, up from 42% in Feb. The NAR said “the home buying tax credit has been a resounding success.” Investors accounted for 19% of sales, unchanged with Feb and distressed sales totaled 35% of sales. The greater than expected sales offset the rise in the number of homes for sale thus sending the months supply to 8 from 8.5. Bottom line, without the tax credit in a week, the industry will be put to its next major test and the NAR holds out hope as do the rest of us, “with home values stabilizing, a revival in home buying confidence will likely help the housing market get back on its feet even as the tax credit impact disappears.” Can we transition without such a popular drug?
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