Sales of previously owned homes in the US rose for the first time in seven months in February, while sale prices fell by their most in at least 40 years.
全美房地产经纪人协会(National Association of Realtors)的数据显示，经季节因素调整后，美国上月成屋销售量增加2.9%，折合成年率为503万套，但较上年同期减少了23.8%。
Figures from the National Association of Realtors showed that existing home sales rose by 2.9 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03m units last month, still 23.8 per cent lower than a year ago.
The rise comes after sales fell in January to a level of 4.89m – the lowest since records began in 1999. Sales had been expected to fall modestly again this month to a level of 4.85m.
Economists said that the rise was a positive indication for housing and the financial markets but that it was not clear evidence that residential real estate was about to improve.
雷曼兄弟(Lehman Brothers)经济学家扎克?潘德尔(Zach Pandl)表示：“销售量的上升是重要的第一步，但我不会就此认为住宅市场的问题都已得到解决。”
“The rise in sales is an important first step,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Lehman Brothers. “But I wouldn’t call it the end of the problems in housing.”
House prices fell 8.2 per cent – the biggest one-month drop since the NAR began keeping records in 1968 – to a median price of $195,900 (?127,000, ￡98,700).
The inventory of homes for sale fell by 3 per cent from 10.2 to 9.6 months’ supply. The supply is still extre-mely elevated and more than twice as high as in 2005.
“Until you see a bottom in home prices, people are not going to be confident about the market in homes or in securities,” Mr Pandl said.
“We believe this?.?.?.?pickup will likely prove temporary, given overall weak demand and the soft spring selling season that we believe has so far taken shape,” said Mi-chael Rehaut at JPMorgan.
在另一份数据中，芝加哥联邦储备银行(Chicago Federal Reserve Bank)的全国活动指数显示，美国的经济衰退可能已经开始。今年2月，该指数的3个月均值跌破-0.70的“关口”，至-0.87。芝加哥联邦储备银行表示：“经过一段时间的经济扩张后出现这种情况，说明衰退已经开始的可能性越来越大。”
In another data release, the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank’s National Activity index sent a signal that a recession had probably begun in the US. The three-month average score for the index fell below the -0.70 “threshold” to -0.87 for February. “Such an occurrence following a period of economic expansion indicates an increasing likelihood that a recession has begun,” the bank said.