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IFR-Preview-U.S. April existing home sales seen rising
WHAT: National Association of Realtors Existing Home Sales,
April WHEN: Tuesday 1000 EDT (1400 GMT) FORECASTS (annual rates) Reuters IFR Previous Total Sales, mln units 4.60 4.55 4.48 IFR COMMENTARY: "Existing home sales likely rose to a pace of about 4.55 mln in April, from March's preliminary reading of 4.48 mln. That would mean sales have come down a touch since the beginning of the year, but remain at a pace that still looks quick enough to keep inventory coming down after accounting for seasonality. The unadjusted inventory numbers usually see a large bounce in April, and we expect them to rise somewhat less than usual.
The Pending Home Sales Index, which tends to lead existing home sales by about a month and a half, was up 0.4% in February and 4.1% in March. Despite tight credit supply, falling mortgage rates have been helping affordability, on top of which we continue to see relatively large shares of all-cash and investor purchases.
Shadow inventory appears to have peaked, helping prices stabilize as the greatly swollen supply of cut-rate distressed homes starts coming down slowly. We still haven't seen any significant impact from the mortgage settlement, which was only recently signed off on. Distressed sales fell more than overall sales did last month, while non-distressed sales reached a new post-homebuyer tax credit high."
-- by Theodore Littleton of IFR Markets, a unit of Thomson Reuters.
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