An existing-home bounce back

The Quikrete Industry Dashboard displays the major metrics.
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The highlight of the latest version of the Quikrete Industry Dashboard is the long-awaited uptick in existing home sales.

After sliding for 12 consecutive months, existing-home sales rebounded in February. Total existing-home sales jumped ahead 14.5% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.58 million in February, the National Association of Realtors reported this morning. On a year-over-year basis, sales are down 22.6% compared to 5.92 million in February 2022.

Existing-home sales include completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops.

“Conscious of changing mortgage rates, home buyers are taking advantage of any rate declines,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Moreover, we’re seeing stronger sales gains in areas where home prices are decreasing and the local economies are adding jobs.”

The increase in existing-home sales was echoed by increases in the residential construction charts. Total starts rebounded in February after five consecutive months of declines. Also, single-family starts showed a slight increase in February.

However, negative numbers dominated the Stock Watch. Nine out of the 10 ticker symbols tracked appeared in the bottom left quadrant, indicating losses for the year and more the month.

One out of 10 stocks bucked the trend: BLDR was up 5.4 percent for the month, and up 14.7 percent for the year.

The price oof a gallon of regular gasoline, according to the American Automobile Association’s research, stands at $3.44, as of March 23.

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Coming next: The Consumer Confidence Index, which currently stands at 102.9 (1985=100) for February, will be updated for March on March 28. The closely watched industry metric is down from a downwardly revised 106.0 in January.

“The decrease reflected large drops in confidence for households aged 35 to 54 and for households earning $35,000 or more,”  said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director, economics at The Conference Board.

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