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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Rose To Another Record
by Tom Moeller May 24, 2005

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes jumped to another record high last month, up 4.5% at 7.180M versus Consensus expectations for sales of 6.90M. Sales during March were revised slightly lower.

Improved methodology, better modeling and the addition of condo & co-op sales affected the figures back to 1999. The data reflect closings of home sales in earlier months.

Sales of single-family homes also increased to a new record high. The 4.5% m/m gain to 6.280M pulled sales so far this year to 6.055M, up 2.4% versus 2004.

Existing home sales rose m/m across the country's regions except out West where sales were unchanged m/m (2.5% y/y). Sales in the South jumped 7.0% (8.3% y/y) higher and in the Midwest sales rose 5.8% (3.8% y/y). In the Northeast sales improved 4.3% (7.1% y/y).

The median price of an existing single family home surged further to $203,800 (15.1% y/y).

The latest release from the National Association of Realtors is available here.

Can Monetary Policy Influence Long Term Interest Rates? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

Existing Home Sales (000, AR) April March Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Home Sales 7,180 6,870 5.7% 6,723 6,170 5,653
  Single Family Home Sales 6,280 6,010 5.0% 5,913 5,441 4,995
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