Saturday, May 28, 2011

Economy - #2940 - Pending Home Sales Plummet 11.6% in April - Hot Air (2) Foreclosure Sales Slow, But Remain Very High - MSNBC (3) Gas Tanks Are Draining Family Budgets - Yahoo

Economic forecasting has become as reliable as weather predictions these days, especially at Reuters, so it’s no surprise that the news agency combined the two in the latest report from the housing markets. Pending home sales dropped over 11% in April, which Reuters blames on tornadoes in the southern part of the country (via Instapundit):  Pending sales of existing U.S. homes dropped far more than expected in April to touch a seven-month low, a trade group said on Friday, dealing a blow to hopes of a recovery in the housing market.  The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index dropped 11.6 percent to 81.9 in April, the lowest since September. Pending home sales lead existing home sales by a month or two. …  Pending home sales in the South, which was ravaged by tornadoes, dropped 17.2 percent. Sales were also down in the Midwest and the West.  Reuters expected only a 1% drop, which would have been indication enough of continuing trouble, but seems unrealistic given current conditions.  Read more.......

Foreclosure Sales Slow, But Remain Very High - MSNBC - Sales of homes in some stage of foreclosure declined in the first three months of the year, but they still accounted for 28 percent of all home sales — a share nearly six times higher than what it would be in a healthy housing market.  Foreclosure sales, which include homes purchased after they received a notice of default or were repossessed by lenders, hit the highest share of overall sales in a year during the first quarter, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.  "It's an astronomically high number," said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac. "In a normal market, you're looking at the percentage of homes sold in foreclosure to be below 5 percent."  Read more.......

Gas Tanks Are Draining Family Budgets - Yahoo News - There's less money this summer for hotel rooms, surfboards and bathing suits. It's all going into the gas tank. High prices at the pump are putting a squeeze on the family budget as the traditional summer driving season begins. For every $10 the typical household earns before taxes, almost a full dollar now goes toward gas, a 40 percent bigger bite than normal.  Households spent an average of $369 on gas last month. In April 2009, they spent just $201. Families now spend more filling up than they spend on cars, clothes or recreation. Last year, they spent less on gasoline than each of those things.  Read more........

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