PREVIEW-U.S. home sales seen up in Sept, pace still subdued

WHAT: Sept existing home sales report

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 25 at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT)

REUTERS FORECASTS:

Million unit rate percentage change

Median 4.30 4.0

Minimum 4.00 0.5

Maximum 4.60 11.4

Prior 4.13 7.6

WHAT: Sept new home sales report

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT)

REUTERS FORECASTS:

Million unit rate

Median 0.300

Minimum 0.270

Maximum 0.330

Prior 0.288

FACTORS TO WATCH

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes probably rose for a
second straight month in September, while new home sales edged
up after being flat in August as the market regains some
footing after steep declines in the wake of the end of a
popular homebuyer tax credit.

Still, sales will remain at subdued levels. August’s
existing home sales pace was the second lowest since 1997,
while that for new homes was the second lowest on record.

The reports will be further boosts to expectations that the
Federal Reserve will announce additional monetary stimulus for
the economy at its Nov. 2-3 meeting.

Pending home sales, which lead existing home sales by a
month or two rose 4.3 percent in August, while sentiment among
home builders perked up a bit this month. These are tentative
signs the housing market, which was the main catalyst of the
2007-2009 recession, is forming a base at lower levels after
hefty declines following the end of tax incentive in April.

Recovery remains constrained by a 9.6 percent unemployment
rate, which is causing many to lose their homes and creating a
supply overhang that is keeping prices depressed.

There are also concerns that an investigation into the
processing of foreclosures by some banks could hamper home
resales. Data next week will also show home prices fell again
in August after slipping in July, but rose from a year
earlier.

ANALYST COMMENTS

BNP Paribas

“Both new and existing home sales are expected to increase
in September, moving up further from their all-time low
readings. However, the level of sales would still remain
exceptionally low throughout this year.

“While we expect a rebound in September, feeble builder
sentiment points to further weakness in demand for new
properties. The weakness in demand comes despite record low
mortgage rates and reflects both tightness in credit conditions
and a sluggish recovery.”

BARCLAYS CAPITAL

“We expect an increase in existing home sales. The increase
in pending home sales in August is suggestive of further
stabilization in sales following the significant drop off in
existing home sales in July.

“We forecast a bounce in new home sales following the flat
month-on-month change in August. Along with our forecast for an
increase in existing home sales, a bounce in new homes sales
would signal further stabilization of the housing market after
the removal of government stimulus.”
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

PREVIEW-U.S. home sales seen up in Sept, pace still subdued