Release Explanation: Annualized number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month Important since the housing market is included in most economic forecasts. Retail Sales, CPI, and PCE in the US. A happy householder will usually lead to a strong economic outlook. A miss here, either way, and the Markets gets to see the real confidence of the US consumer. There is a very strong impact on the sentiment towards the US Dollar from this report.
Trade Desk Thoughts: Sales of new, single-family homes rose by 4.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 337,000 in February, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said today, a 4.7% increased from January's upwardly revised 322,000 annual pace.
In the year to February, sales have declined by 41.1%. Sales last year were at a 572,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate.
Demand is improving, especially in areas in California and Arizona which have seen 40% to 50% price declines, said Matthew Carniol, chief currency strategist at TheLFB-forex.com. The best cure for housing is to let the market clear so that demand can be stimulated.
The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2009 was $200,900, the lowest since December 2003. The supply of new homes on the market for sale was estimated to be 330,000 or 12.2 months of supply at the current sales pace, the fewest since June 2002.
Forex Technical Reaction: Equity markets took off just before the report came out and continued to climb afterwards. The dollar weakened across the board as stocks were bought.