While new- and pending-home-sales popped in January, existing home sales slowed. But, analysts expected a modest bounce in February but instead they soared 6.5% MoM to the highest since Jan 2007...
The 5.77mm SAAR sales pace exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists (with the median estimate at 5.51 million).
Sales climbed 18.9% in the West to an annualized 1.26 million units and advanced 7.2% in the South, the nation’s largest region, to 2.52 million.
The median sales price increased 8% in February from a year earlier to $270,100 as housing inventory declined on the heels of steady demand.
These were contracts agreed in January and signed in February so well before the current crisis began to hit markets and sentiment.
“February is looking at the rear-view mirror,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said on a call with reporters.
So far in March, “we are seeing a decline in buyer traffic; some homes are actually getting delisted.”
Finally, we note that mortgage rates have begun to reverse as rates have spiked (unusually) in the last couple of weeks, suggesting this resurgence in the housing market (stock crash aside) could be near to an end...