Data Recap: Existing, Pending, New Home Sales. And More.

[Editor’s Note: This is a recap of data from last week through today. These Fundamentals are usually posted daily, but I was out last week.]

Pending Home Sales Index
-Index for January 2012 was 97.0. Previous was 96.6.
-That 96.6 was down 3.5.
-NAR revised the previous to 95.1 and headlines this as a 2% gain.
-This must be part of “the new math.”
-This is an NAR constructed index intended to be a leading indicator of housing activity.
-It shows new contracts on homes expected to close within 60 days

Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey
-The Dallas Fed index of Texas manufacturing increased in February.
-The Production Index rise from 5.8 to 11.2.
-New orders were up but at a slower rate of increase.
-Shipments were down and Capacity Utilization was up.
-The general business index was 17.8 up from 15.3 in January.
Full report here.

New Home Sales (January 2012)
-321,000 Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate. Previous was 324,000. Consensus was 315,000.
-Median sales price of new houses sold in January 2012 was $217,100

-New home sales remain depressed as they compete in the marketplace with existing homes in a month when 35% of the Existing Home Sales were distressed.

Consumer Sentiment
The UMichigan Consumer Sentiment Index for February was 75.3. That is +0.3 from January. Consumer Sentiment is supposed to measure predisposition to spend. Higher gasoline prices can turn sentiment around rapidly. Higher gas prices both take away discretionary spending and have a large psychological impact because of media coverage and the fact that gasoline prices are posted in large numbers in conspicuous places.

Jobless Claims (week ended 2/18/2012)
-Initial Jobless Claims 351,000
-This is unchanged from the slightly upward revised data of last week
-Lowest level of 2nd week of February since 2008
-4-Week Moving Average is 359,000, down from the previous (revised) 366,000

FHFA House Price Index (December 2011)
-FHFA Home Price Index was +0.7% month/month and -0.8% year/year
-This report isn’t as

Existing Home Sales (January 2012)
-Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate was 4,570,00
-Up 4.3% for Jan, and inventory at 7yr lows
-Dec sales revised down to 4.38m annualized from 4.61m. Dec Result: -0.5% instead of +5%.
-The median price fell 4.6% to $154,700

-Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales which sell at deep discounts – accounted for 35 percent of January sales (22 percent were foreclosures and 13 percent were short sales), up from 32 percent in December; they were 37 percent in January 2011.

-Home Sales are increasing at the expense of prices. This is good for buyers, bad for sellers and bad for anyone wanting to refinance and now faced with too little equity.

-For October-January, 33% of Realtors reported at least one cancelled contract. This was up sharply from 18% in September and August, and up from 9% in December 2010.

Full Report

Mortgage Applications (week ended 2/17/2012)
-Purchase Index, Week/Week -2.9%
-Refinance Index, Week/Week -4.8%
-Composite Index – Week/Week -4.5%

Retail: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales
-Store Sales,- Week/Week +3.0%
-Store Sales, Year/Year +3.2%

Retail: Redbook
-Store Sales Year/Year change +2.9%