SOURCE: BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank

January 22, 2013 14:30 ET

BMO Economics: Fall in U.S. Home Sales Not the Full Story

U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Fell in December, but Trend Is Still Good

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Jan 22, 2013) - While the U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly fell in December, sales trends have improved a great deal since last summer and other indicators are positive, according to BMO Economics.

Said Jennifer Lee, BMO Capital Markets Senior Economist, "We all know that there will be blips in the monthly data and all in, the trend is still looking good. The growing economy and improving job market will continue to support the housing sector as sales are getting closer to normal levels."

All the declines in December's sales were in the single-family component, at -1.4 percent. Condo sales continued to head higher, up 1.7 percent. The inventories of homes available for sale fell for the 4th month in a row to the lowest level since 2001. And the month's supply of homes also dropped to a 7 1/2-year low of 4.4 months. "The levels should throw some support on prices," said Lee. "Overall this is a still-decent report supported by strong details."

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