The report is overall in line with expectations, and suggests consumers are continuing to spend. More importantly, it suggests the tax cuts will be spent quickly.Existing Home Sales Rise 5.6%
Sales of existing single-family houses rose 5.6% in April, to an annual rate of 5.84 million. The rise was greater than expected by the market.
The median sales price rose to $163,400, up 6.8% on the year. Inventory levels rose 10.3%, holding the months supply to 5.1.
Sales rose in all four regions. Sales are up 3.2% from a year ago, and are at their fifth-highest level in history. Low mortgage rates should keep sales strong, since they have dropped from April's average 5.81%. New Home Sales Up 1.7%
Sales of new single-family homes rose 1.7% in April, to 1.028 million. This is up 12.2% from a year earlier.
The market had expected a small decline after the high March report. This is the third-highest month for new home sales. Inventories of unsold homes remain tight, with a 3.9 month supply; the normal is 6.
The median sales price declined slightly, to $185,100 from $185,400 in March and $187,100 a year ago. This reflects regional sales patterns, with sales strongest in the low-cost Midwest and down in the Northeast. Record low mortgage rates are keeping sales strong. We at S&P expect the strength to continue. From Standard & Poor's MarketScope