Housing market shows weakness for 2nd month - Big drop in January US home sales show housing market could falter after federal support ends
The article opens with the following:
- (AP) -- Sales of previously owned U.S. homes plunged in January to their lowest level since summer, providing fresh evidence that high unemployment and tight lending standards are outweighing the government's attempts to prop up the market.
- The results, the weakest since June, were far worse than forecast and suggest the housing recovery will sputter without government support. The Obama administration has spent billions to keep mortgage rates low and give buyers tax breaks, but both programs are set to end this spring.
Buried in the article, we find this POSITIVE data point:
Home sales are still up nearly 12 percent from the bottom (emphasis added), but are down 30 percent from their peak more than four years ago.
Let's dig just a bit deeper -- going directly to the source, the "NAR":
- Existing-home sales fell in January but are above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
- Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – dropped 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 5.05 million units in January from a revised 5.44 million in December, but remain 11.5 percent above the 4.53 million-unit level in January 2009.
© 2010 Jeffrey Walkenhorst
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