Housing data are leading some analysts to see the basis for a sector recovery, but that view is probably overly-optimistic. A 3.4%
mo/mo increase in existing home sales in April was only the second positive reading in five months. Additionally, while housing
starts and permits are now showing strong double digit yr/yr growth, April starts were the first to be positive in three months and
permits fell. The supply of existing homes is 6.6 months, markedly down from the peak, but it is the highest since last November.
Median prices for existing homes have firmed, rising 7.6% mo/mo in April, the third consecutive increase, and are now increasing
by 10.1% yr/yr. Overall, while housing data are better it is too early to suggest that they signal a recovery.