|New Home Sales - Level - SAAR||509K||485K to 540K||517K||481K||484K|
New home sales bounced back solidly in April, up 6.8 percent to a 517,000 annual rate that is on the high side of Econoday expectations. Strength is centered in the South which is the largest and important housing region and where sales rose 5.8 percent, this however fails to reverse the region's 11.8 percent drop in the prior month.
Supply rose slightly in the month, to 205,000 new homes on the market, but supply relative to sales fell to 4.8 months from 5.1 month. Low supply should encourage builders to bring more homes on the market but at the same time low supply hurts current sales. Price readings are mostly favorable led by a 4.1 percent rise in the median price to $297,300 for a strong 8.3 percent year-on-year gain.
Readings in this report are always volatile month-to-month but the gains for April underscore the recent surge in housing starts & permits and help offset last week's disappointing weakness in existing home sales. The housing sector is still trying to get off the ground but indications, taken together, are improving.
Market Consensus Before Announcement
New home sales have been one of the most volatile of any reports, a reflection of the report's small sample size. The last report, at a 0.481 million rate, was especially weak and forecasters are calling for a turn higher to 0.509 million.
New home sales measure the number of newly constructed homes with a committed sale during the month. The level of new home sales indicates housing market trends and, in turn, economic momentum and consumer purchases of furniture and appliances.
This provides a gauge of not only the demand for housing, but the economic momentum. People have to be feeling pretty comfortable and confident in their own financial position to buy a house. Furthermore, this narrow piece of data has a powerful multiplier effect through the economy, and therefore across the markets and your investments. By tracking economic data such as new home sales, investors can gain specific investment ideas as well as broad guidance for managing a portfolio. Each time the construction of a new home begins, it translates to more construction jobs, and income which will be pumped back into the economy. Once the home is sold, it generates revenues for the home builder and the realtor. It brings a myriad of consumption opportunities for the buyer. Refrigerators, washers, dryers and furniture are just a few items new home buyers might purchase. The economic "ripple effect" can be substantial especially when you think a hundred thousand new households around the country are doing this every month. Since the economic backdrop is the most pervasive influence on financial markets, new home sales have a direct bearing on stocks, bonds and commodities. In a more specific sense, trends in the new home sales data carry valuable clues for the stocks of home builders, mortgage lenders and home furnishings companies.
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