Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Housing market weak in US, strong in UK

Recovery in the US housing market won't come so soon. From Reuters:

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders sank in March in data reported on Monday, while shares of subprime lender Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. plunged 12 percent for the day after the company said it was in talks about possible financing...

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index fell more than expected to 36 from a downwardly revised 39 a month earlier. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index would drop to drop to 38 from an originally reported 40 in February.

But it's a different story in the UK. Reuters reports:

Asking prices for homes in England and Wales rose an annual 12.2 percent in March, a survey showed on Monday, in a sign the housing market has remained robust in the face of rising interest rates.

Property Web site Rightmove said March's rate compared with a 11.5 percent increase in February and took the average asking price for a home to 228,183 pounds.

And speaking of shrugging off rising interest rates, stocks rose in China yesterday despite the weekend rate hike, but other markets in the country reacted more conventionally. Bloomberg reports:

The currency gained as much as 0.04 percent to 7.7331 against the dollar and traded at 7.7360 at 5:29 p.m. in Shanghai, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. The yield on the government bond maturing in April 2008 rose 3 basis points to 2.63 percent in Shanghai, according to the city's exchange... China's benchmark index, the Shanghai and Shenzhen 300 Index, gained 2.1 percent to 2659.41.

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