Every housing number that comes out leads to speculation about a housing recovery. If a number comes in .01% below expectations the bears claim housing will cease to exist and if there is a similar beat than the bulls declare its time to buy up all the condos in Florida.
The most ignored yet most important number is weekly mortgage applications for purchase. When one intends to buy a house the first thing they do is apply for a mortgage. Yet people would rather focus on numbers like Existing Home Sales, that measures the number of closings in the previous month. A closing happens many months after a mortgage application is filled out.
Mortgage applications for purchase have been steady at an extremely low level for many weeks now. There is no housing recovery. Don't hold your breath waiting for the next housing number.