NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pending sales of existing U.S. homes dropped far more than expected in April to touch a seven-month low, a trade group said on Friday, dealing a blow to hopes of a recovery in the housing market.
DAVID ADER, HEAD OF GOVERNMENT BOND STRATEGY AT CRT CAPITAL GROUP, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT
"U.S. April pending home sales fell 11.6 percent from previous month, led by 17 percent drop in the South. Weather surely had an impact. March pending sales rose 3.5 percent, revised from a 5.1 percent gain. The (Treasury bond) market firms further."
VIMOMBI NSHOM, ECONOMIST, IFR ECONOMICS, A UNIT OF THOMSON REUTERS:
"After March's unexpected 5.1% increase (now a softer rise of 3.5%), pending home sales sank by 11.6% in April to an index score of 81.9, more confirmation that surprise monthly readings reflecting the housing data eventually level out to general trend of a flat market at a depressed level.
"While April's decrease is nearly four times that of March's gain, sales activity -- measured by signed contracts -- still reflects scores seen in the summer of 2010 just after the expiration of the tax credit, thus despite the magnitude of the decline, we've seen this weak level of activity before.
"Pending home sales had indicated a positive existing home sales performance in April -- that didn't materialize -- so it would be safe to say that forthcoming sales data will post on the down side. Three of the four regions experienced lower activity, led by the South -- the largest home market-- with only Northeastern sales rising."