US: New Home Sales


Wed Aug 23 09:00:00 CDT 2017

Consensus Consensus Range Actual Previous Revised
New Home Sales - Level - SAAR 610K 590K to 622K 571K 610K 630K

Highlights
Overstating weakness, July's headline for new home sales fell to a far lower-than-expected annualized rate of 571,000. This is offset, however, by upward revisions totaling 33,000 in the two prior months which now stand at 630,000 and 618,000. This series, where sample sizes are low, is often volatile month-to-month with the 3-month average, still over 600,000 and just off expansion highs, telling the more reliable story.

The best news in July's report is an increase in supply, up 4,000 to 276,000 new homes on the market. Relative to sales, supply moves from 5.2 months to 5.8 months which is nearly at the 6 month mark which is widely considered to be balanced for new homes.

Prices are showing increasing traction, up 0.7 percent in the month to a median $313,700. This is up 6.3 percent year-on-year which is roughly in line with prices of existing homes.

The strength in pricing is good news for residential investment but not for first-time buyers who are being priced out of the new home market. The downdraft in July's data aside, new homes are probably still a positive for the housing sector which has been trending higher in fits and starts all year. Watch tomorrow for existing home sales where strength is the expectation.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
New home sales entered the Spring on the downturn before popping higher to a 600,000 plus annualized rate in both May and June. Prices came down in June while supply improved which could be positives for July sales. Yet forecasters are calling for no change in July at 610,000.

Definition
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.



Description
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.