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US DATA: Feb existing home sales +3.0% to 5.54 mln saar (+1.1% y/y), well above
expectations for 5.40m and ahead of the 2017 total of 5.51 mln. This followed an
unrevised 5.38m pace in January.
- The first quarter sales pace was still behind the fourth quarter average,
suggesting a softer start to 2018.
- Sales were +4.2% for single-family homes and -6.5% for condos. Sales rose in
South (+6.6%) and West (+11.4%), but declined in the Northeast (-12.3%) and
- The supply of homes +4.6% to 1.59m, but still the lowest February level on
record and -8.1% y/y. The months supply stayed at 3.4 months, which NAR says is
"very tight," and below the 3.8 months supply a year ago. The median sales price
rose in February to $241,700, +5.9% from a year earlier, well outpacing the rate
of wage growth.
- NAR's Yun noted again that more supply, especially for condominiums, and
relaxed lending standards for builders are needed. Median days on the market
dropped to 37 days from 45 days a year earlier, so a very fast market.