(Kitco News) – Economic data continues to have little impact on gold as prices remain near its recent seven-year high following after data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed consumers bought existing homes at a pace in line with expecations.
Friday the NAR said that its txisting home sales dropped 1.3% last month to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.46 million units, compared to December’s annualized rate of 5.54 million homes. However, the decline was in line with consensus forecasts.
The gold market continues to continue to be well supported following the latest home sales data. April gold futures last traded at $1,648.40 an ounce, up 1.72% on the day.
Despite the monthly decline, the NAR said that home sales for the year were up sharply, increasing 9.6% from a year ago.
“Existing-home sales are off to a strong start at 5.46 million,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist in the report. “The trend line for housing starts is increasing and showing steady improvement, which should ultimately lead to more home sales.”
Looking at home prices, the report said that the media price for all housing types last month was $266,300, up 6.8% from January 2019.
“Mortgage rates have helped with affordability, but it is supply conditions that are driving price growth,” Yun said.
The NAR said that Total housing inventory at the end of January totaled 1.42 million units, is the lowest level since 1999. At the current sales pace the unsold inventory represents a 3.1-month supply.