NAR chose to blame the weather in keeping with the rest of the nation as it cited "cold" in the Northeast and Midwest for the 4th miss on existing home sales in a row and the lowest level of sales since October 2012. What is ironic is that while the always independent NAR proclaims weather to blame for the miss (despite Midwest condo sales up 14%!?), it crows that December sales were the strongest for a December in 7 years. The median home price rose 9.9% Year-over-year (so half that of China's). NAR sums it up: "we lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory..."
It would appear home sales are catching down to the collapse in mortgage applications as the fast-money cash-buyers have stepped away for now...
And rather than blame any of this weakness on the reality of a crushed consumer... NAR chooses to reflect on the good times of over easy credit...
“The only factors holding us back from a stronger recovery are the
ongoing issues of restrictive mortgage credit and constrained