We'll venture to guess that nearly everyone is eager for spring and summer. Winter has been lousy in many regions of the country. Lousy weather, in turn, has been reflected in lousy home sales and construction data.

Weather was surely an influential variable in February, where existing home sales again disappointed. Indeed, sales slipped for the sixth time in seven months, with annualized sales posting at 4.6 million units. Year over year, sales are down 7.1%, the steepest decline in nearly three years.

Fortunately, there are signs that existing home sales will improve in coming months: Prices remain firm, with the median price rising to $189,00. As we've noted many times in the past, rising prices call forth more supply. Indeed, more homes are coming to market, with two million homes for sale in February compared to 1.88 million in January, according to the NAR's data . This bodes well for future sales.

On the construction front, housing starts slipped 0.2% to a 907,000-annualized rate in February. The good news is permits jumped 7.7% to a 1.018-million-unit pace after decreasing 4.6% in January. Once the weather warms, the bulldozers should return in force, as should the buyers.

 Courtesy of Jessica Regan.

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