Then, on Friday (7/20), this from Rosenberg:
All of a sudden, the string of positive news on housing came to an end yesterday with existing home sales sliding 5.4% in June to 4.37 mllllon units at an annual rate (the consensus was looking for +1.5%) — the steepest decline since Fehruary of last year.
The declines were broad based across product types (single famlly and condos) and the first-time buyer remains dormant, accounting for just 32% of total sales activity, down from 34% in May and 35% in April. At the same time, the inventory of homes has come down in level terms in each of the past two months and much of this seems to be coming out of the lowend of the market, where mvestors had been buying in bulk and providing sales support in recent months, but that appears to have run its course and is evident in the pricing data — median prices jumped 5% to $189,400. the fifth monthly increase in a row to the highest level since September 2008. But this is more a reflection of the reduction in investor-based buying activity at the low end than a signal of any meaningul appreciation on individual units. And with sales declining the inventory backlog in months‘ supply terms rose to 6.6 from 6.4, the highest since last November.
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