US Home Sales Up More Than Expected
$DIA, $SPY, $QQQ, $VXX
US home resales rose more than expected in April, suggesting the economy continues to gather pace in Q-2.
The National Association of Realtors said on Friday existing home sales increased 1.7% to an annual rate of 5.45-M units.
March’s sales pace was revised higher to 5.36-M units from the previously reported 5.33-M units.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast home resales rising to a 5.40-M-unit pace last month. Sales were up 6.0 percent from a year ago.
There were however regional variations.
Home sales rose in the Midwest by 12.1% last month and also rose in the Northeast while the South and West lost steam.
The housing sector has been relatively buoyant, helped by an economy that is nearing full employment.
Earlier this week US housing starts also increased more than expected in April as builders ramped up the construction of single and multi-family homes.
The number of unsold homes on the market rose 9.2% to 2.14-M in April from March, but was down 3.6% compared to a year ago.
“Housing shortage is still present,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist.
At April’s sales pace, it would take 4.7 months to clear the stock of homes on the market, up from 4.4 months in March. A 6-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.
The share of 1st-time home buyers rose to 32% from 30% last month and a year ago.
Nationwide, the median home price stood at $232,500. That was an increase of 6.3% from 1 year ago.
It is the 50th month running that house prices rose on a Y-Y basis, Mr. Yun added.
Friday, US major stock market indexes finished at: DJIA +65.54 at 17500.94, NAS Comp +57.03 at 4769.56, S&P 500 +12.28 at 2052.32
Volume: Trade was above average with about 953-M/shares exchanged on the NYSE
- NAS Comp -4.8% YTD
- Russell 2000 -2.1% YTD
- DJIA +0.4% YTD
- S&P 500 +0.4% YTD
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