Friday, September 21, 2012

Housing Rebound Continues

NDD and I have written pretty extensively about the housing market and how both of us think it's one of the possible bright spots for the economy going forward.  Earlier this week, we hear more news about the rebound (from Marketwatch):

Sales of existing homes surged 7.8% in August to the best level in more than a year as low interest rates and a slowly improving jobs market help fuel a rebound in activity. 

The National Association of Realtors said sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million from July’s 4.47 million, which was better than the 4.6 million expected in a MarketWatch-compiled economist poll. 

The level was the highest since May 2010 and the percentage gain was strongest since August 2011. U.S. stocks SPX -0.05%   saw a quick spike after the data was released, and have moved in a see-saw manner ever since. Read Market Snapshot. 

Compared to the same period of 2011, sales were up 9.3%, the 14th straight month of year-on-year gains. 

Each of the four major regions saw monthly gains in the order of 7% to 8%.
About a third of homes were sold in a month and the median time it took to sell a house was 70 days, up slightly from 69 days in July but down from 92 days at the same time last year.
Fueled by low interest rates and pent-up demand, home sales have improved considerably from their recession-era lows, but still are well below the 2005 peak of just over 7 million.