Resale Sales Up; New Home Sales Down

Two nationwide reports were recently released with very interesting information. One said that new home sales were off for the second month in a row while the other claimed that resale home sales were up in February.

According to MSNBC, resale homes "rose in February by the largest amount in nearly three years."

"The National Association of Realtors reported Friday that sales of existing homes rose by 3.9 percent last month, pushed higher by a sharp increase in sales activity in the Northeast. It was the biggest increase since a similar increase in March 2004.

The increase pushed sales up to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million units, still 3.6 percent lower than a year ago. Sales fell by 8.5 percent for all of last year as housing hit a sharp slowdown after setting sales records for five straight years."

In many areas, including Las Vegas, resale inventories have continued to rise to record numbers. An increase in resale activity is welcome after months of slowdown.

On the other hand, new home sales are reported to be down for a second month. MSNBC writes, "Sales of new homes fell sharply for a second consecutive month in February...

"The Commerce Department reported Monday that sales of new single-family homes fell by 3.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 848,000, the slowest sales pace in nearly seven years. All regions of the country except the West experienced weakness last month.

The February decline followed an even larger 15.8 percent drop in sales in January, which had been the largest one-month plunge in 13 years. The back-to-back declines provided evidence that the housing market is continuing to struggle with lagging demand and a glut of unsold homes."

New homes sales are off which is what we have been told by several previous reports. Builders expect a flat year for 2007. That should signal to buyers and investors to keep their eyes out for great deals. It's often a good idea to buy when everyone else is selling.