Yet another report falls short, and with energy capex on the decline something needs to step up soon if there’s going to be any GDP growth:
Existing Home Sales
Existing home sales popped up in December as expected, up 2.4 percent to an annual sales rate of 5.04 million vs a slightly revised 6.3 percent decline in November to 4.92 million. December’s gain, underscoring Wednesday’s housing starts report, was led by single-family homes which rose 3.5 percent to a 4.47 million rate. Condos declined 5.0 percent in the month to a 570,000 rate. The gain for single-family homes is an important signal of strength for first-time home buyers.
The gain in sales drew down available homes on the market to 1.85 million from 2.08 million, in turn sharply lowering supply on the market to 4.4 months from 5.1 months. Lower supply points to sales troubles in next month’s report.
A plus in the report, and underscoring strength in yesterday’s FHFA price report, is a 1.1 percent gain in the median price to $209,500. Year-on-year, the median price is up 6.0 percent in a reading that also points to building strength in the housing sector.