New home sales rise 1% in July


Fox Business 24 August, 2021 - 10:07am 47 views

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LoanDepot Inc. founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh weighs in on data showing existing home sales rose unexpectedly in July.

New home sales rose last month as increasing supplies gave buyers more choices. 

Sales of new single-family homes ticked up 1% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Still, the rate was 27.2% below the July 2020 estimate of 972,000. 

Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting 700,000 new homes sold. The June reading was revised higher by 25,000 to 701,000. 

New home sales, which account for about 10% of the housing market, had previously fallen for every month in 2021 as buyers had grappled with a shortage of inventory and record-high prices. 

Prices continued higher last month as the median sales price of new houses sold during the month reached $390,500, up from $370,200 in June. A year ago, the median price was $336,900.

The increase in new home sales comes a day after existing home sales last month rose more than expected to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million. 

Total housing inventory rose for a sixth straight month in July, climbing 7.3% to 1.32 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Still, that was 12% below the year-ago level of 1.5 million. 

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The US housing market is starting to cool off -- a bit

CNN 24 August, 2021 - 02:20pm

Updated 1:54 PM ET, Mon August 23, 2021

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New Home Sales Rebound as Price Hits Record High - Economic Research News 24 August, 2021 - 02:20pm

New home sales rebounded from a three-month slide, as employment gains and summer vacations motivated many families to look for a new home before the start of the school year. A total of 708,000 homes sold during the month, a 1.0% increase from an upwardly-revised June figure, driven by double-digit gains in the West. However, sales of new homes were 27.2% lower than the same month in 2020.

Even with the cost of lumber coming down in June, builders maintained higher prices, pushing the median new home price to a record of $390,500, an 18.4% jump from a year ago. The supply of new homes has been improving, from a low of 3.7 months of inventory in March, to 5.9 months in July. Sales of entry-level homes—priced below $300,000—accounted for 24% of total sales, reflecting continuing shortage of affordable new housing.

Buyers embraced new homes over the past year due to a historically-low inventory of existing homes, and shifting preferences for larger homes, backyards, and suburban neighborhoods. However, the spring spike in lumber costs pushed the price tag of new homes to a record high of nearly $400,000 in May, putting new construction out of budget for many buyers. In addition, more homeowners decided to take advantage of market conditions and brought more existing homes to market this summer, widening available options for sale. With real estate markets moving toward more balance, we can expect buyers to continue seeking affordability. Buyers still in the market can expect more inventory and less competition over the next six months, especially as we move into the colder fall and winter seasons.

Sr. Economist View all posts by George Ratiu

July home sales up 1% as prices reach unprecedented levels - News 4 24 August, 2021 - 09:18am

FILE – In this Thursday, June 24, 2021 file photo, a real estate sign is posted in front of a newly constructed single family home in Auburn, N.H. U.S. home prices registered the fastest growth in 17 years in May as a surge in demand for housing outstripped the supply. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, July 27 soared 17% in May from a year earlier on top of a 15% jump in April. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Sales last month reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Sales had fallen in April, May and June as builders confronted surging lumber prices and a shortage of workers.

Home prices continue their upward trajectory to new heights. The median price of a new home sold in July climbed to an unprecedented $390,500, up 18.4% from a year ago, while the average sales price in July hit a record $446,000, up 17.6% from a year ago.

Even with the small sales gain in July, new home sales are 27.2% below the pace of a year ago. Sales peaked at a rate of 993,000 units in January but have cooled since then, though remain at historically high levels.

The surge in prices may start to slow in coming months as builders work to ramp up construction. The number of new homes for sale at the end of July stood at 367,000, up 5.5% from the June inventory level and 26.1% higher than a year ago.

“While demand for homes remains strong, high prices and backlogs in construction will temper sales in the months ahead,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics.

The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of existing homes rose 2% in July compared to June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million units while the price of an existing home sold in July climbed 17.8% from a year ago to $359,900, near the all-time high set in June.

For July, new home sales fell in two regions of the country and rose in two regions. Sales dropped 24.1% in the Northeast and were down 20.2% in the Midwest. Sales showed a slight 1.3% increase in the South and rose a stronger 14.4% in the West.

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Fewer first-time homebuyers are competing these days - HousingWire

HousingWire 23 August, 2021 - 01:44pm

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The inventory of unsold homes rose by 7.3% to 1.32 million from June to July

Existing-home sales grew by 2.0% in July from the month prior, a report published by the National Association of Realtors on Monday found. But first-time homebuyers are still getting squeezed.

Completed sales transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, represented a seasonally adjusted annual rate of just under 6 million (5.99 million) in July, according to NAR. A year ago, the annual rate was 5.90 million, so sales grew year-over-year by 1.5%.

A notable development: After a year of extremely tight housing inventory, the housing market is showing signs of finally adding housing stock. The inventory of unsold homes rose by 7.3% to 1.32 million from June to July, the report found. However, even with the availability of more homes on the market, inventory for homebuyers is down 12% from 2020 (1.5 million).

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, said in a statement that as inventory starts to tick up, the intensity of multiple offers will lessen, leading to a more balanced housing market for homebuyers.

“Much of the home sales growth is still occurring in the upper-end markets, while the mid-to lower-tier areas aren’t seeing as much growth because there are still too few starter homes available,” Yun added.

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Reacting to the report, Matthew Speakman, an economist at Zillow, noted that demand continues to be firm and is “boosted, in part, by gains in inventory that are starting to offer buyers meaningfully more choice.”

Speakman said that the increase in inventory is being driven by “sellers [coming] out of the woodwork, providing home shoppers with more options, and likely easing some of the upward pressure on home prices in coming months.”

Meanwhile, the median existing-home sales price rose to $359,900 in July, up from $305,600 last year, marking a 17.8% increase, the report said.

Yun remarked that home prices are unlikely to drop in the coming months, though there is a chance that “they will level off as inventory continues to gradually improve.”

He also said that the elevated cost of housing is having an impact on the rental market, with prospective homebuyers who are priced out of the current purchase market opting to rent, thus causing rental rates to jump.

Per the report, first-time homebuyers accounted for 30% of sales in July, dipping slightly from 31% in June and down from 34% year-over-year, NAR said.

Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said that first-time homebuyers have been “particularly sensitive to these elevated prices.”

“[First-time homebuyers] are also competing with an elevated share of cash buyers – up to 23% of all buyers compared to 16% a year ago,” Kan said.

Also, due in part to the foreclosure moratorium still in place in July, distressed sales, encompassing foreclosures and short sales, represented less than 1% of sales, equal to the percentage seen in June and equal to July 2020, NAR said.

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MBA data shows that mortgage lenders made less profit in Q2, with net gains declining to $2,023 on each loan compared to $3,361 in Q1.

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Existing home sales rose in July, inventory ticked higher

Yahoo News 23 August, 2021 - 11:54am

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Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose for the second consecutive month in July, though only modestly from a year ago, suggesting the red-hot housing market may be cooling a little.

Existing homes sales rose 2% last month from June to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million units, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. That’s greater than the 5.82 million economists were expecting, according to FactSet.

Sales rose only 1.5% from July last year. By comparison, sales in June jumped about 23% from a year earlier, when many states were still in a pandemic lockdown.

“Sales are still running above pre-pandemic conditions, but appear to be settling down,” said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist.

The median U.S. home price climbed 17.8% from a year ago to $359,900, near the all-time high it set in June, NAR said. That annual gain was more modest than the 20%-25% year-over-year increases seen earlier this year.

“Clearly, the home price growth is moderating,” Yun said.

Sales of homes above $500,000 rose last month while those below that tier fell, helped skew the median price higher.

Would-be homebuyers who have been trying to navigate the most competitive market in more than a decade had perhaps a wider selection to consider at the end of July, when the inventory of unsold homes stood at 1.32 million. That's an increase of 7.3% from June, but it's still down 12% from July last year. At the current sales pace, the unsold inventory amounts to a 2.6-month supply, the NAR said.

With so few homes up for sale, it has become routine for anyone putting a house on the market to receive multiple offers that exceed the asking price, and many sell within days. In July, homes typically remained on the market 17 days before getting snapped up. That's unchanged from June, but down from 22 days in July 2020.

“I expect we’ll have more inventory in upcoming months,” Yun said.

First-time homebuyers made up 30% of all transactions last month, down from 31% in June and 34% a year ago. These buyers have to contend with fewer homes for sale in the more affordable end of the market and competition from all-cash buyers, often investors. Some 23% of homes sold in July were paid for with cash, unchanged from June and up from 16% in July last year.

Still, first-time buyers continue to benefit from ultra-low mortgage rates. The average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage eased last week to 2.86%, according to Freddie Mac. The benchmark rate, which reached a peak this year of 3.18% in April, stood at 2.99% a year ago.

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