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Bob Johnson: The chart today shows both new and existing-home sales. Existing homes are important because they have a lot of carry-on sales for furniture and so forth. It's a much larger component. It's about 10 times larger than new home sales, so certainly it drives them. But more important to GDP calculations, the overall gross domestic product, is new-home sales because every dollar of those sales goes into the calculation.
We put both of these on a graph so that you can see that they both have gone way up and absolutely collapsed. And existing-homes sales have made a halfway decent recovery, recovering about a third of what they lost. And you can barely see on the graph the small improvement we've gotten in new-home sales. Both metrics show a small decline recently, probably weather-related.
As credit conditions improve, as employment continues to move upward, and as mortgage rates begin to stabilize a little bit albeit at higher levels, we think the housing market will begin to pick up a little more steam later this year and into 2015.