Zillow data on house price and sales volume trends.

Monthly, a Zillow self-analysis of its algorithmic empire attempts to scoop Case-Shiller house price index, and this post from senior economist Aaron Terrazas calls for tepid growth in prices and sales volume for January 2016. Terrazas explores the reasons and what to expect in the C-S February report.

He notes that unexpectedly weak pending home sales in January, combined with two consecutive months of contracting housing starts, account for the mediocre expectations for housing's January performance. Here's how he spins that ahead for a February talk-track:

Existing home sales were particularly volatile at the end of 2015 (due in part to the timing of some closings getting disrupted as new rules came into effect), but tended to hew fairly close to the narrow 5.3 million to 5.5 million-unit band where that has prevailed since mid-2015. We don’t expect sales to break out beyond this band in February, and expect a 2.2 percent decline from January to 5.35 million units at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate (figure 1). Existing home sales volumes at this level would represent a 6.2 percent gain over February 2015.

Here, too, is Calculated Risk analyst Bill McBride, with a quick take on Terrazas' call.

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