Jan. 22 - Existing home sales fell 1 percent in December, but the housing recovery is on track, says Coldwell Banker CEO Budge Huskey. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit today is 1 percent. Existing home sales dropped 1 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. The sales rate was not as high as economists predicted, but still it is the second-highest rate of sales since November 2009, when sales were lifted by a federal tax credit for home buyers. CEO of Coldwell Banker, Budge Huskey, says even with last month's decline, the housing recovery is going strong. SOUNDBITE: BUDGE HUSKEY, CEO, COLDWELL BANKER, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The most important figure is the comparison year-over-year, and sales of resale homes in December were up 12 percent above the same period of time last year. So, it continues what we've see as the streak of year-over-year increases in home sales." And the outlook remains firm. SOUNDBITE: BUDGE HUSKEY, CEO, COLDWELL BANKER, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "So we have home sales continue to increase, we have prices continue to increase, we have inventories at the lowest level that they've been in many years. All this is really an indication of what is a solid foundation for continuing housing recovery in 2013." But Huskey warns, the recovery cannot be sustained without a solid economic foundation. SOUNDBITE: BUDGE HUSKEY, CEO, COLDWELL BANKER, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Probably when you think about the overall economy, the housing recovery has continued in a very fast pace during this last year, probably even faster than the pace of the overall economy. Of course, for housing recovery to be truly sustainable, the economic foundation has to be there. So, we have to see continued improvement in that direction." He's also keeping his eye on what's going on in the credit markets, particularly in regards to regulations on qualified mortgages, because that will determine what financing some prospective home buyers will have access to.