Good news in the housing market, too

Aerial view of housing development.

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: The housing market got a bit of good news yesterday: surprisingly robust numbers on existing home sales. We'll see if we can't make it two in a row this morning. Alisa Roth has more.


Alisa Roth: Standard and Poor's puts out the Case Schiller Index today. It tracks sales of existing homes across several metro areas. The National Association of Realtors put out its numbers yesterday. Sales of existing homes went up nearly 3 percent in February, the first increase in six months. But home prices were lower.

Nicholas Retsinas directs the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. He says that may be what made buyers start buying again.

Nicholas Retsinas: The numbers indicate that if price goes down, sales go up.

S & P uses a different technique to calculate its figures. But Retsinas says the outcome should be similar.

Retsinas: I would suspect that that will continue to show some further price softening, price declines in kind of selected markets.

He points out that monthly numbers like these tend to be very volatile, and they're stale almost before they're released. He still thinks we're in for a bleak 2008.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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