Existing home sales up 5.6%, which is still very low, but improving

Sales of existing homes are slow but improving, up 5.6% in November to 4.68 MM an annual rate that's a below expectations. Details show gains across all regions along with a strong 6.7 % rise in sales of single-family homes, the report's key component. Another plus is that prices didn't soften, up slightly to a median $170K to end a nearly six-month run of declines. Supply on the market fell for a third straight month but at 9.5 months is still very high.

All in all, the outlook for the housing sector is improving and if it does turn around, a major drag on the economy will have turned into a plus. There was no significant early reaction to today's report but if the stock market rallies later in the session, don't be surprised if existing home sales get the credit.

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