By: Corey Mutterperl
According to an industry report, existing home sales surprisingly rose for the month of February. This was unexpected as January sales dropped sharply. The report showed that half of the home purchases in February was by first time homebuyers and that almost half of these homes were distressed properties. The only catch to this news is that the increase in sales is coming at the expense of pricing. This is due to the fact that most of these sales are for foreclosed homes, which are selling at below market pricing. Analysts are hoping that the collapse in home sales is over, although they still feel that a long-term recovery is still a ways off.
A government report shows that new home construction has unexpectedly surged for the month of February, after it fell for eight straight months. Experts had expected a decline for the month. While new construction of single family homes are usually the bulk of the housing starts, February saw a huge increase in multi-family housing starts. Although this is welcome news, analysts fell that this is only a temporary rebound and not a full turnaround. There is still too much of an inventory of homes to sustain this rebound. The report showed the Northeast with the greatest increase in new construction, while the Midwest and the South also had increases. The West has yet to get involved in this increase.