Existing Home Sales Rose 4.3% to 4.57 Million in January

Existing hom sales rose 4.3% to 4.57 million in January. While the percentage gain was better than expectations, it comes after the prior month was downwardly revised to 4.38 million (was 4.61 million) to keep the sales level worse than the 4.65 million expected by markets. Single-family sales were up 3.8% to 4.05 million, while and multi-family sales were up 8.3% to 520,000. Sales were up in all regions, with the West reported the largest gains (up 8.8%). On a year-over-year basis, total existing home sales are up 0.7%, with only the West reporting declines (down 3.1% y/y). The months inventory of unsold homes edged down to 6.1 months from an upwardly revised 6.4 months in December (was 6.2 months). The median home price fell to $154,700 from $162,200 in December (was $164,500) and is down 2.0% over last January. While the percentage change in sales was upbeat, the overall level of sales was weaker than expected, to likely weigh on markets still concerned about news from abroad.

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