Surprise! Existing Home Sales Jump

February's 2.9% rise surprises analysts; median price tumbles unprecedented 8.2%
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2008 10:45 AM CDT
A Centex Homes sign indicates that a house is sold in a subdivision in Lewisvile, Texas, Monday, April 30, 2007. Centex Corp. is expected to release quarterly earnings on Monday, April 30, 2007.    (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – Existing home sales stunned Wall Street today with an unexpected spike, Bloomberg reports. The metric rose 2.9% in February to an annual pace of 5.03 million. Analysts had predicted yet another decline, to a 4.85 million pace. But one economist said this was only a “temporary pause.” “We’re still a long way from a recovery in housing,” he warned.

“I would not read too deeply into a single month’s data,” agreed another real estate expert. Single-family home sales climbed 2.8%, while sales of condos and co-ops rose 3.7%. Buyers returned in part because prices plummeted, with the median falling 8.2%. With foreclosure filings up 60% in February, that descent should continue, analysts said.