Last week's economic news included several reports related to housing and mortgages. The NAR started the week on a positive note with its Pending Home Sales Index released Monday. Pending home sales in March were higher with an unexpected increase of 3.40 percent over February for an index reading of 97.40.
After three consecutive months of decline, the S and P Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index remained nearly unchanged in February. Year-over-year home prices rose by 12.90 percent in February as compared to 13.20 percent in January.
March sales of existing homes exceeded expectations at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million sales according to the NAR. Analysts projected that existing home sales would reach 4.55 million based on February's reading of 4.50 million sales.
Harsh winter weather conditions contributed to home prices falling in January.
Spring is almost here, and the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index (NAHB HMI) thawed slightly in March.
Two major indicators of home price trends showed a slowing momentum for home prices in December. The S&P Case Shiller 10 and 20 city indices reported that of 20 cities tracked, home prices were lower in December than for November.
The first post-holiday week of 2014 brought mixed economic and housing-related news. CoreLogic reported via its Housing Market Index that November home prices grew by 11.80 percent year-over-year.
The Case-Shiller 10 and 20-City Home Price Indices for October were released on December 31. Although home prices in most cities continued to show year-over-year gains, the pace of home price appreciation is expected to slow in 2014.
The last week of 2013 brought relatively good news in view of the economic roller coaster rides caused by legislative impasse. A brief shutdown of federal government agencies, and nail-biting suspense over if and when the FOMC of the Federal Reserve would taper its quantitative easing program.
The holiday season and winter weather slowed home sales in November. Last week, the NAR reported that sales of existing homes had slumped to their lowest level in nearly a year, but this was not unexpected.