Housing on the rebound
Did someone say housing recovery? Existing home sales numbers for May were released this morning, handily beating economists’ expectations. Existing homes are now being sold at an annual rate 4.89 million units, up 4.9 percent month-over-month, Reuters reports. Forecasts had put the growth rate at only 2.2 percent. The number of properties on the market is also up, suggesting that the housing market is finally pulling out of its late 2013 slump.
We’re not quite out of the slump yet, however. Sales are still down 5 percent from May of 2013, particularly in the western part of the country:
The big question now is whether this growth will continue. Just last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association cut its forecast for combined new and existing home sales this year to 5.28 million. It’s the first time since the recession that both MBA and Fannie Mae are predicting lower growth than in the previous year.