The Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that New Home Sales surged 18.9 percent in September from August to their highest level since October 2007. This was the largest monthly gain since January 1992! Sales came in at 667,000 units versus the 555,000 units expected. Sales were up 17 percent year-over-year. Currently, there is a five-month inventory of houses on the market, down from six-months in August. A six-month supply is seen as a healthy balance between supply and demand.
CoreLogic reports that home prices nationwide rose 6.6 percent from May 2016 to May 2017 and 1.2 percent from April 2017 to May 2017. Tight inventories of homes for sale continue to push prices higher. CoreLogic forecasts indicate that home prices will increase by 5.3 percent on a year-over-year basis from May 2017 to May 2018.
Employers added 222,000 new jobs in June, well above expectations, the Labor Department reported. April was revised up from 174,000 to 207,000, and May was revised up from 138,000 to 152,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 47,000 more than previously reported. The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4 percent. Employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month in 2017, in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016. Average hourly earnings showed just a 0.2 percent gain from May and 2.5 percent gain year over year. May’s reading was revised lower to just 0.1 percent.
New Home Sales in December fell 10.4 percent from November to an annual rate of 536,000 versus the 589,000 expected. Higher mortgage rates and increasing home prices have been blamed. It was the lowest level since February 2015 and down 0.4 percent from December 2015. Within the report it showed that the median sales price rose nearly 8 percent from a year ago to $325,500. In addition, a near 6-month supply of new homes for sale finally shows a healthy balance between supply and demand
Existing Home Sales closed out 2016 as the best year in a decade, though December’s numbers were a bit below expectations. The National Association of REALTORS® reported that sales in 2016 were 5.45 million units, above the 5.25 million in 2015 and the highest since the 6.48 million in 2006. December Existing Home Sales declined 2.8 percent from November to an annual rate of 5.49 million units, which was below the 5.55 million expected. November was revised higher to 5.65 million from 5.61 million.