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ECON: Existing Home Sales Higher Than Expected
Posted to: Micro News
Thursday, December 20, 2012 10:10 AM

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- EHS +5.9 pct to 5.04 mln annual rate (4.87 mln consensus)
- Inventory lowest since Dec 2001 on outright basis
- "months" of inventory lowest since Sept 2005
- 22 pct distressed, down from 24

(December 20, 2012) - Existing-home sales continued to improve in November with low inventory supply pressuring home prices, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in November from a downwardly revised 4.76 million in October, and are 14.5 percent higher than the 4.40 million-unit pace in November 2011. Sales are at the highest level since November 2009 when the annual pace spiked at 5.44 million.

Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said there is healthy market demand. "Momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs and a bursting out of household formation," he said. "With lower rental vacancy rates and rising rents, combined with still historically favorable affordability conditions, more people are buying homes. Areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy show storm-related disruptions but overall activity in the Northeast is up, offset by gains in unaffected areas."




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