The only important economic data released this morning was a report from the Census Bureau, which showed that sales of new single-family homes in America rose by 3.1 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 575K units. That “gain,” though, occurred only because the August figure was revised sharply lower by 5.6 percent. Regardless, new home sales are still up 29.8 percent compared to this same period last year, the fastest pace of annual growth since February 2015. Regionally, home sales fell in the West (-4.5 percent) last month but rose everywhere else, including a 33.3 percent spike in the Northeast. The median sales price of new houses sold in September rose to $313,500, the first monthly increase since June. The demand for more reasonably priced homes is likely not going to go away but little help will come from the inventory of new single-family homes, which slid to 235K in September. Moreover, months’ supply fell to 4.8 at the current sales pace. New home sales are extremely volatile and account for a relatively small portion of the overall U.S. housing market. However, this metric is still worth keeping track of because historically new home sales tend to head sharply lower ahead of a recession.
Sources: Econoday, Twitter, Bloomberg, ZH, U.S. Census Bureau, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch