Housing Market Still Weak, September 2012 Existing Home Sales Flat:
The housing market is getting a bit better compared to last year and the year before but there are still some signs of weakness. Today, the National Association of Realtors said signed contracts to purchase existing homes in September 2012 were unchanged. Although housing starts were up 15 percent and eclipsed a four-year high, this isn’t actually proof the housing market has bottomed, but trends look good. Staggering unemployment has taken its toll on the average buyer and a significant portion of homes are purchased by investors with cash. The NAR index for September rose 14.5% from a year ago but was only up .3 percent from August after 17 consecutive months of gains.
Pulte Homes said new orders rose 27 from the prior quarter and Ryland’s orders were up 55 percent. We told our readers to watch the housing market for signs the rally was restarting and the housing exchange traded fund XHB took a short term betting today falling $0.30 to 25.61 or 1.16 percent. We are less neutral and more bullish short term as this could be a good buying opportunity. We are staying away from tech after bad earnings from Apple, Google and Amazon. This could be the last buying opportunity before the election if equities can hold support levels from the last month which would give stocks a chance to go higher. The S&P500 rose 4.22 to 1,412 gaining 0.3% and if follow through to the upside occurs, this could mean new highs.