2013 Economic Calendar
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Existing Home Sales  
Released On 1/22/2013 10:00:00 AM For Dec, 2012
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Existing Home Sales - Level - SAAR5.04 M4.99 M5.100 M4.950 M to 5.200 M4.94 M
Existing Home Sales - M/M Change5.9 %4.8 %-1.0 %
Existing Home Sales - Yr/Yr Change12.8 %

Lack of homes for sale, especially at the low end, are holding down sales of existing homes which are down 1.0 percent in the December report to an annual rate of 4.94 million which is a bit below Econoday's consensus. Supply is severely constrained at 4.4 months at the current sales rate vs 4.8 months in November and compared to 6.4 months in December 2011.

Low supply may be bad for sales but it's good for prices which rose 0.8 percent in the month to a median $180,800. The year-on-year gain in the median price, at 11.5 percent in December, trended in the low double digits through the fourth quarter.

Details show a dip for single-family home sales in the latest month that was only offset slightly by a gain for condos. Total sales show regional declines in the Midwest and South and show gains for the West and Northeast.

This year is expected to be a good one for the residential sector with rising home prices generally expected to be a big plus for the consumer. Though the pace of sales did dip back in December, the trend is still pointing up with sales moving steadily and convincingly higher from the 4.37 million rate back in June. The Dow is moving lower following today's report.

Tomorrow housing data will lead off with mortgage purchase applications, which have been very bumpy, and will be followed by FHFA price data where a big gain is expected. Data on new home sales, which have been slowly but steadily building momentum, will be posted on Friday.

Consensus Outlook
Existing home sales surged 5.9 percent in November to a 5.04 million annual rate and followed a 1.5 percent rise in October. Existing home sales were up 14.5 percent on a year ago basis, compared to 10.2 percent in October. Hurricane Sandy seems to have had no significant effect on sales where in the Northeast they surged 6.9 percent following a modest decline in October. Sales in the other three regions all showed gains for both November and October as well. Supply fell sharply, to 4.8 months at the current sales rate from 5.3 months in October which was already a multi-year low.

Existing home sales tally the number of previously constructed homes, condominiums and co-ops in which a sale closed during the month. Existing homes (also known as home resales) account for a larger share of the market than new homes and indicate housing market trends.  Why Investors Care
Existing home sales reached a peak in mid-2005 and have been easing since. Typically, a distinct reverse relationship exists between home sales and mortgage rates. However, sales and mortgage rates both have firmed in recent months.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/222/213/214/225/226/207/228/219/1910/2111/2012/19
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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