Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Existing Home Sales Up 2.4%

The NAR reports that existing home sales rose a paltry 2.4% to a a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million units in May from a downwardly revised level of 4.66 million units in April. Sales are 3.6% below the 4.95 million-unit pace of May 2008. NAR's chief mouthpiece, I mean economist, Lawrence Yun was optimistic, as he is paid to be, citing that he expected an improvement due to historically low mortgage rates, affordability, and the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit. He made no mention of the effects that the leap in rates for the 30-year to well over 5%, from their 4.86% average in May might have on the June numbers. Total housing inventory at the end of May fell 3.5% to 3.8 million, which represents a 9.6 month supply at the current pace, down from a 10.1 month supply the prior month. The decrease in inventory is the best part of this report, although 9.6 months is still on the high side. So if everyone could just do their patriotic duty and go out and buy a house this Fourth of July, we'd be out of this mess in no time. Oh, and don't forget to buy a car too, preferably GM. And an office building if you can afford it. They're running a half price sale, I hear...

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