Home sales up, but market still sluggish

by Ryan Smith27 May 2014
Sales of new single-family homes were up in April, but economists said the market wasn’t picking up fast enough.

New home sales rose 6.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 units, according to the Commerce Department. That’s the first rise after two straight months in decline, but the spike wasn’t big enough to beat the disappointing first-quarter average, according to a Reuters report.

“The data have yet to show a meaningful pickup in activity early on in the spring following the unusually harsh winter,” JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver told Reuters.

The severe winter weather hasn’t been the only thing hampering sales. Rising mortgage rates and home prices have also dragged the market down.

It’s not all bad news, however. Sales of previously-owned homes were up last month, and housing inventory has reached its highest level in two years, Reuters reported. Mortgage rates are also down, hitting a seven-month low of 4.14% last week.
 

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