New Home Sales
New home sales increased 6.1 percent higher in February to a 592,000 annualized rate that beats economists’ predictions of 565,000 and is near the top estimate of 600,000. Sales appeared to have gotten a boost from builder concessions as the median price fell a monthly 3.9 percent to $296,200 for a yearly rate that is in the negative column at minus 4.9 percent. Supply of new homes did rise slightly this month, up 4,000 to 266,000 currently on the market but relative to sales supply fell to 5.4 months from 5.6 months. Supply has been thin all cycle for new homes and was at only 5.5 months February of last year. The average price, which reflects high end properties jumped 9.9 percent in the month for a yearly 11.7 percent gain at $390,400 a new record.
Existing Home Sales
Existing home sales are down 3.7 percent in February to a 5.480 million annualize4d rate and below the economists’ predictions of 5.555 million. Details for the most part are weak including a 3.0 percent decline for single family sales to 4.890 million and a sharp 9.2 percent drop for condos to a 590,000 rate. Year on year single family sales are up 5.8 percent with condos fading and barely over zero at a level of only 1.7 percent. Total yearly gains in sales are up a solid 5.4 percent, median home sales are at a level of $228,400 up a healthy 7.7 percent. Supply has been very thin but is improving with 1.750 million resales on the market for a 4.2 percent gain from January. Relative to sales, supply is at 3.8 months vs. January’s 3.5 month supply. Days on the market are very short at 45 vs. 59 days a year ago.
FHFA House Price Index
The FHFA house price index came in unchanged in for the month of January with the year on year appreciation falling a steep 5 tenths to 5.7 percent. This is the weakest month to month showing more than four years and weakest yearly rate in 2 ½ years.