Following January’s disastrous dive in Existing Home Sales (which must be weather, right? Nope!) to a SAAR 4.82 million homes, February (with its even worse weather) saw a 4th month of missed expectations with a 4.88mm print against 4.90 mm expectations. As always, weather was blamed – which is odd given that the only drop in sales that occurred happened in The Northeast which accounts for just 12% of total transactions. Perhaps more worrisome is NAR’s Larry Yun noting  “unsuitable price levels” as a reason for weak sales due to low inventories (despite inventories rising 1.6% in February?!). May be it’s time to blame The Fed… for not creating more rich people to buy more houses…

Another month, another miss…

As Home Prices remain higher YoY….

  • *FEB. MEDIAN HOME PRICE RISES 7.5% FROM YEAR AGO TO $202,600

Northeast sales fells 6.5% MoM, The West rose 5.7% MoM with the The Midwest flat and South up 1.9% MoM.

NAR’s Larry Yun explains…

Severe below-freezing winter weather likely had an impact on sales as more moderate activity was observed in the Northeast and Midwest compared to other regions of the country.”

but adds…

although February sales showed modest improvement, there’s been some stagnation in the market in recent months. “Insufficient supply appears to be hampering prospective buyers in several areas of the country and is hiking prices to near unsuitable levels,” he said. “Stronger price growth is a boon for homeowners looking to build additional equity, but it continues to be an obstacle for current buyers looking to close before rates rise.”

..

“Stronger price growth is a boon for homeowners looking to build additional equity, but it continues to be an obstacle for current buyers looking to close before rates rise.”

And begs The Fed to not raise rates…

“With all indications pointing to a rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year – perhaps as early as this summer – affordability concerns could heighten as home prices and rents both continue to exceed wages,”

Charts: Bloomberg


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