Feb Existing Home Sales uneventful along a maybe bottom

Feb Existing Home Sales totaled 4.59mm annualized, 20k less than expected but Jan was revised up by 60k to 4.63mm. Single family home sales fell but condos/co-ops sales were unchanged. Because the amount of homes for sale rose by 100k, the inventory to sales ratio did rise to 6.4 from 6.0. The medium home price rose .3% y/o/y to $156,600. That is up 1.3% sequentially from Jan but which was the lowest since Nov ’01. Distressed sales totaled 34% of all sales vs 35% in Jan and 39% last Feb. Of the contracts signed, 31% were canceled due to failed mortgage apps and issues with the appraised value. This compares with 33% in Jan and just 9% in Feb ’11. Those that don’t need mortgages, buyers that pay in cash totaled 33% of all sales vs 31% in Jan and in line with one yr ago. With respect to the issue of weather, which has certainly helped starts and the contract signings of new home purchases, today’s Existing Home sales data likely saw contract signings in Oct and Nov and are thus not impacted.

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