Last week’s economic reports included readings on new and existing home sales; the University of Michigan released its monthly Consumer Sentiment Index, and weekly updates on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.
New Home Sales and Median Home Price Rose in July
The Census Bureau reported that new homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 353,000 sales in July; analysts expected a pace of 350,000 new homes sold based on June’s reading of 349,000 sales of new homes. Homebuyers are buying new and existing homes at a faster pace as more homes and wider choices become available to would-be buyers. The number of new homes for sale rose 5.50 percent month-to-month and was 26 percent higher year-over-year. The median price for a new home rose to a new high of $390,500 in July.
The National Association of Realtors® reported that July sales of previously-owned homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 5.99 million sales; analysts expected 5.87 million sales based on June’s sales pace of 5.83 million sales of previously-owned homes. Real estate pros were pleased with July’s increased sales pace and expected the trend to continue.
Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims
Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged one basis point higher at 2.87 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also rose by one basis point to 2.17 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.42 percent and were one basis point lower. Discount points were lower across the board and averaged 0.60 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
New jobless claims rose to 353,000 claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 349,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 350,000 new jobless claims to be filed last week. Continuing jobless claims dipped to 2.86 million claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 2.87 million ongoing jobless claims filed.
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for August ticked up to an index reading of 70.3 from July’s reading of 70.2; analysts expected an August reading of 71.0.
This week’s economic reporting included readings on Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, construction spending, and Government readings on public and private-sector jobs growth and the national unemployment rate.