March’s Sharp Decline in Home Sales Was Actually Not as Bad as Expected
New-home sales fell 7.1 percent in March the steepest percentage decline since February 2011.
Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 7.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 328,000 units in March from an upwardly revised, robust pace of 353,000 units in February, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Commerce Department. Analysts had expected new-home sales of only 320,000.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Nearly Unchanged in April
Consumers more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined slightly in March, was nearly unchanged in April. The Index now stands at 69.2 (1985=100), down slightly from 69.5 in March. The Expectations Index declined to 81.1 from 82.5, while the Present Situation Index improved to 51.4 from 49.9 last month.
Nine Cities and Both Composites Hit New Lows in February 2012
“While there might be pieces of good news in this report. . ., home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year.”
According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices data through February 2012, home prices, showed annual declines of 3.6% and 3.5% for the 10- and 20-City Composites, respectively. The 10-city index slid to its lowest level since May 2003 and the 20-city index dropped to its lowest level since October 2002. The rate of decline, however, is an improvement over the rates posted for the month of January, -4.1% and -3.9%.Yes, prices are still declining, but experts say that because the drop isn’t as steep, the housing market is stabilizing. How many times have we heard that before?