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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Decline As Expected
by Tom Moeller May 25, 2006

The National Association of Realtors reported that April total existing home sales declined 2.0% m/m to 6.760M following little change in March that was little revised. The gain was in line with Consensus expectations for 6.78M sales.

Sales of single-family homes fell 2.0% after a slight March dip. The data cover sales closed in the latest and previous months, and contrast to the new home sales data which count sales at the signing of a contract.

Sales declines were widespread throughout the country. In the Northeast, sales reversed all of the prior month's gain with a 4.5% drop (-3.4% y/y). Sales in the Midwest more than reversed the prior month's gain and fell 3.4% (-4.1% y/y). In the South sales fell 0.8% (-2.4% y/y) for the third consecutive monthly drop and sales in the West were unchanged (-12.8% y/y).

The median price of an existing single-family home rose 2.5% (4.3% y/y). Prices are not seasonally adjusted.

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

Existing Home Sales (000, AR) April March Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Home Sales  6,760 6,900 -5.7% 7,064 6,722 6,176
  Single Family Home Sales 5,920 6,040 -5.6% 6,170 5,912 5,443
Single Family Median Home Price (000) $222.7 $217.2 4.3% $206.3 $182.8 $169.1
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