Stock Market Insights For The Housing Markets

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million units in April from an upwardly revised 5.36 million in March, and are 22.8 percent higher than the 4.70 million-unit pace in April 2009. Monthly sales rose 7.0 percent in March.

The upswing in April existing-home sales was expected because of the tax credit inducement, and no doubt there will be some temporary fallback in the months immediately after it expires, but other factors also are supporting the market,” the chief economist for NAR, Lawrence Yun said. “For people who were on the sidelines, there’s been a return of buyer confidence with stabilizing home prices, an improving economy and mortgage interest rates that remain historically low.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.10 percent in April from 4.97 percent in March; the rate was 4.91 percent in April 2009.

Total housing inventory at the end of April rose 11.5 percent to 4.04 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.4-month supply2 at the current sales pace, up from an 8.1-month supply in March. Raw unsold inventory is 2.7 percent above a year ago, but remains 11.6 percent below the record of 4.58 million in July 2008. see chart


1. Northeast: Existing-home sales surged 21.1% and are 41.6% higher than a year ago.
2. Midwest: Existing-home sales rose 9.9% and are 29.1% above a year ago
3. The South: Existing-home sales increased 8.6%
4. The West: Existing-home sales fell 6.2% are 5.2 percent above a year ago.

In Stock Markets
Volume Precedes Price
This simply means that volume will indicate the end of an uptrend or a downtrend before the price changes indicate it. In the real estate markets price will not begin to firm until volume begins to decline. If this holds true the NAR study indicating increasing sales volume and continued price drops may be the early beginnings of a market bottom. The change in trend will begin in earnest when volume shrinks, until then we can expect prices to decline

Bouncing Along The Bottom
Whats it feel like

Well a lot like this. Its a place where asset price action is no longer declining as a long term trend. Price seems to go up and then back down. It simply means that not all the bad news is out of the markets and that healthier signs appear and are then clouded by another set of negative circumstances.

For example the EU crises precipitated by Greece caused money to flow out of the EU. This caused rates to drop in the US. It also raised the value of the dollar, making our exports more expensive to Europeans. Since four of our top ten trading partners are in Europe this is likely to impact job growth. So, cheaper mortgages might incentivize some people, but job uncertainty might disincentivize other people....not all the bad news has washed out.

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