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Pending Home Sales Decline 2.6%

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OUR FORECLOSED WORLD
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After freefalling 30% month-over-month in May, pending home sales fell by 2.6% in June verses a forecasted jump of 4%. The drop was led by the Northeast and the Midwest regions with a small fall in the West of .2% and a 3.7% gain in the South.

(A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed). Meanwhile, homebuilder stocks have declined over the past three months as the tax credit helped front load sales. The S&P Homebuilder Index, which includes Pulte Homes (PHM) and Toll Brothers (TOL), has plummeted 24% since the end of April as of yesterday's close.

“While weaker than expected, the softness in the resale market is not a surprise to anyone as the crutch of $8,000 for a buyer is no longer there,” wrote Miller Tabak’s Peter Boockvar. “The question is what happens after the hangover as potential buyers weigh the benefit of low prices and mortgage rates with the risk of job and economic uncertainty. Also of influence is the new world of tight lending standards in which we live that has impacted the amount and pace of sales.”

Then again, others point out that deals for a new pad never looked so good: folks, condos are now cheaper than cars!

For instance, those in the market for new digs could check out this beautiful 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath condo in Deerfield Beach, Florida (near Ft. Lauderdale) for just $24,999. That’s about the same price as a Toyota Camry LE ($26,125 MSRP). (HT: Carpe Diem)

Not a fan of the Sunshine State? No sweat: peruse these Las Vegas condos going for $20,000 or less, starting at $10,000. Or check out the opportunities for living in the Phoenix area: $28,000 or less, starting at $12,500.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.
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