THE GOOD. THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
was good? Well, US existing home sales did increase 3.4% in April to
4.62 million annualized units from 4.47 million (slightly revised down
from 4.48 million) in March. Homes sales were also fractionally better
than the expected 4.61 million sales (or 2.9% MOM).
bad? Well, the April rebound did follow two monthly declines. And on a
non-seasonally smoothed basis. This actually marked the fourth worst
April In the past 13 years.
ugly? The inventories of homes available for sale soared almost 10%.
This boosted the months' supply to 6.6 which is above the five to six
months' which typifies a market in balance as well as a bounce off the
6.2 months' level in March (and is now at a five-month high).
first-time homebuyers are still largely absent. Saddled with huge
student debt and dismal job prospects, this key cohort accounted for 35%
of total sales, about 10 percentage points below the norm of a healthy