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Update: U.S. Existing Home Sales Rise 2.4% In December

By Kitco News
Friday January 23, 2015 10:00 AM

(Kitco News) - After a much higher-than-expected pullback in November, existing home sales rose 2.4% in December to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.04 million units, from a downwardly revised 4.92 million in November, the National Association of Realtors said Friday.

The NAR added that total sales for 2014 were 4.93 million, a 3.1% decrease from 2013 total sales of 5.09 million.

According to consensus forecasts, economists expected sales to come in around 5.08 million for last month.

Looking at home prices, the association said in December that the median price for all existing housing types was $209,500, a 6% increase from December 2013. The NRA added that median prices for the year reached the highest levels since 2007.

The NAR also noted a fall in inventories; the report said total housing inventories fell 11.1% to 1.85 million existing homes, which represents 4.4-month supply.

Commenting on the data, Andrew Grantham, an economist for CIBC, said he noticed lower supply figures for December, but doesn’t expect this data to affect markets.

“It appears that low supply could be preventing a further acceleration in sales, as months’ supply dipped noticeably to 4.4 in December, from 5.1 in the prior month and the lowest since January 2013. That may support a firmer trend in prices once again. The broadly in-line with consensus headline print should see little market reaction,” he said.

“The index for pending home sales (which typically leads the existing home sales figures by a month or two) has seen a broadly flat trend for the last four-five months, suggesting the existing home sales series will stabilize around this level in the months ahead,” he added.

By Sarah Benali of Kitco News; sbenali@kitco.com



Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.
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