Interest Rate Roundup

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pending home sales flatline in May

Pending home sales figures for May just hit the tape. Here's a recap:

* Pending home sales inched up 0.1% between April and May. That was essentially in line with the average forecast of economists, who were looking for no change.

* The pending sales index, at 90.7, was up 6.7% from the year-earlier reading of 85 and the highest since September.

* The regional breakdown was a mixed bag. Sales rose 2.2% in the West and 3.1% in the Northeast. But they dropped 1.3% in the Midwest and 1.7% in the South.

The housing market has put the darkest depths of last fall and winter behind it. But the recovery we've seen from those severely depressed levels isn't much to write home to mom about. Instead, we're seeing sales flop and chop around near historically low levels. That will likely continue for some time thanks to the large overhang of existing home supply, rising unemployment, and the recent upward trend in mortgage rates.


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