Sales of existing U.S. homes probably fell in February for a third month, indicating the lack of jobs is hindering government efforts to revive demand, economists said before a report today.
The extension and expansion of a federal tax credit that helped stabilize housing in 2009 has yet to spark sales this year as hiring hasn’t materialized. Home Depot Inc. is among companies cutting prices to stimulate demand as the world’s largest economy recovers from the worst recession since the 1930s.
“We’re not going to see a significant recovery for some time, though there is a recovery” in housing, said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York. “We really need to see the job market picking up.”
The National Association of Realtors’ report is due at 10 a.m. in Washington. Survey estimates ranged from 4.75 million to 5.2 million. January sales came in at a 5.05 million pace, a 7.2 percent decline from December, which in turn was down 16 percent from the prior month.