WASHINGTON — Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose more than expected in April and the stock of houses on the market hit a 3-1/2 year-high, further signs the sputtering housing recovery was poised to regain steam.
The Commerce Department said on Friday sales increased 6.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 units, ending two straight months of declines.
March’s sales pace was revised up to 407,000 units from a previously reported 384,000 units.
Real estate guru Mark Hanson updates his housing view following this week's dismal housing industry data: Sept. Pending Sales... the largest MoM drop since Sept 2001... not 2011... yes, 2001. Don't let them tell you 'this is normal for Sept'. The 'oh-crap' moment is now in the can. Going forward, "Existing Sales" volume will disappoint on a YoY basis for several quarters. There is no way around it...
Michael David White submits:New Observations estimates excess inventory for sale equals 1.4 million units with over 4-million homes on-the-block, a figure hovering just 11 percent below peak-crash inventory, while at the very same time the realtors’ chief economist forecast Monday that “the housing price correction appears essentially over.”
While we will have much more to say about the price dynamics in the West in a follow up post, where the Western housing market appears to be appreciated right now is in the just released New Home Sales report, which showed that in May new home sales soared by a whopping 18.6%, orders of magnitude above the 1.4% increase expected, and resulting in some 504K new houses sold, far above the 439K expected, and certainly above the downward revised April print of 425K. What caused this surge?
The Federal Reserve's quantitative easing (QE) program involves the monthly purchases of $85 billion worth of Treasury and mortgage bonds. These purchases have helped keep interest rates historically low. But in the last few months, Fed officials have started talking about tapering QE some time in the near future. The bond markets have been going nuts, selling off in anticipation of the taper. And this has been causing interest rates to surge all over the world.
Housing data has been very weak in recent months, reeling from the impact of the cold winter and because of elevated mortgage rates. Supply and affordability have also weighed on new home sales. Economists have been slashing their housing forecasts recently following the deteriorating data.
Sales of new U.S. homes rose more than forecast in June to the highest level in five years, a sign builders are benefiting from a lack of supply of existing properties.
Purchases climbed 8.3% to an annualized pace of 497,000 homes, highest level since May 2008, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The median estimate of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a gain to 484,000.