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Housing Sees Spring Heat
You've got to admire the strength in the housing market, which has largely been able to sidestep the world economic crisis according to a recent batch of positive data. Today we got the May Pending Home Sales Index which posted a 101.1 reading, up from 95.5. That's a 5.9% month to month gain, above the expected 1.2% gain. The strength was broadly across all regions, and it matched the best result since April 2010.
The housing market has been good enough lately, in the face of poor activity elsewhere, that we have to ask ourselves what is actually going on here? In a way we may not be seeing increased demand per se (although that is still possible), but instead demand that was already pent up. The credit market for mortgages has continued to be very tight and we know that's been restricting sales, and a shortage of supply in some regions is also limiting sales. Therefore, we may be seeing a market that has had higher potential over the past several months but is only gradually being able to live up to it.
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