Instant View: Existing home sales rise 3.7 percent in March

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 20, 2011 10:15 AM
Instant View: Existing home sales rise 3.7 percent in March

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose more than expected in March, a trade group said on Wednesday, raising cautious optimism a recovery may be in sight for the housing market.

KEY POINTS:

* The National Association of Realtors said sales rose 3.7 percent month over month to an annual rate of 5.10 million units after an upwardly revised 4.92 million unit pace in February. * Economists polled by Reuters had expected sales to rise 2.5 percent to a 5.0 million-unit pace from the previously reported 4.88 million unit rate. Sales have now risen in six of the past eight months.

COMMENTS:

MICHAEL WOOLFOLK, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, BNY MELLON, NEW YORK

"This data is not bad. We've seen some modest recovery from the record lows that we saw at the beginning of the year. There may be some spillover effect from the severe weather we had this winter in these numbers, with this report providing comeuppance for the slowness during the winter. But it's going to take more data to confirm we've put in a bottom in housing."

GENNADIY GOLDBERG, FIXED INCOME ANALYST, 4CAST, INC., NEW YORK

"It's still pretty much more of the same old -- still a lot of distressed sales but the number doesn't seem to be impacting the market very much. It was right on expectations after the weaker February print."

MARKET REACTION:

STOCKS: U.S. stocks maintain earlier gains.

BONDS: U.S. bond prices hold steady at lower levels.

FOREX: The dollar steady at lower levels versus the euro