Sales of existing homes in the U.S. probably climbed in August to the second-lowest level on record, indicating housing remains depressed a year after the economic recovery began, economists said before a report today.
Home resales rose to a 4.1 million annual pace, behind only July’s 3.83 million as the weakest in a decade’s worth of data, according to the median of 72 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Other reports may show jobless claims held at a two- month low and the index of leading indicators increased.
“Housing is showing no ability to move to the upside,” said Eric Green chief market economist at TD Securities Inc. in New York. It will take gains in employment, an improvement in confidence and a decline in the number of houses on the market for the industry to rebound, he said.
Economists surveyed project the jobless rate will average more than 9 percent through 2011, undermining confidence and signaling foreclosures will hinder real estate as households struggle to make mortgage payments. A distressed housing market was among reasons the Federal Reserve cited this week when it said it’s willing to take additional steps to spur growth.
The National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release the sales figures at 10 a.m. in Washington. Survey estimates ranged from 3.8 million to 5 million. Comparable data, which combines single-family houses and condominiums, began in 1999.