Will January’s Lows Dampen Housing in February?

Despite sales in Orange County skyrocketing 12.9% month-over-month in December, January put the brakes on home sales with a whopping -30.6% drop from December’s highs.

These numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise since the forecast for the overall U.S. economic growth was revised down from the previous month. Construction starts, consumer confidence, mortgage applications were all low.

But what’s astonishing is that sales plummeted in spite of home prices easing -1.3% in Orange County during the same timeframe.

While experts are predicting similarly slow outcomes for February, with mortgage credit conditions loosening, a hot jobs market, household formation strengthening, and housing’s notoriously fiery spring homebuying season right around the corner, March should give way to solid gains. In fact, FHA’s expectations of 5.6 million home sales for 2015 remain unrevised, even after a less-than-stellar January. So housing’s outlook still remains positive.

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