According to today’s housing report from the US Commerce department new single-family home sales in July declined by 1.7% to the lowest level since October 2017. Sales in the South declined by 3.3%. Sales in the West were up 10.9% and in Midwest were up by 9.9%. The decline for the Northeast was 52.3% which was the lowest since September 2015. The median new house price rose 6.0 percent to $328,700 in July from June. There were 309,000 new homes on the market in July, the most since March 2009 and up 2.0 percent from June.
The statistics for new home sales support last week’s statistics for existing home sales. Approximately 14 percent of all existing home listings in June underwent a price cut. That is up from a recent low of 11.7 percent at the end of 2016, according to a new report from Zillow. CNBC also reported that price growth for existing homes was slowing in nearly half of the 35 largest U.S. metropolitan markets. See “Housing tipping back to buyer’s market as sellers cut prices”, CNBC August 17, 2018.
The waning momentum for home prices and sales along with consumer confidence in August declining for the fourth consecutive month after hitting a multi-year high in April 2018 does not bode well for the US economy and stock market. See “Consumer Sentiment Declines for 4thconsecutive month”, BullsnBears.com, August 19, 2018