Morning Briefing: New home sales data disappoints

by Steve Randall27 Jul 2015
New home sales data disappoints
The latest sales figures for new single-family homes show a drop in June. The data from HUD and the US Census Bureau shows that sales were down 6.8 per cent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 482,000. However, the disappointing figures may not be a trend as the National Association of Home Builders reports that sentiment is strong and the underlying picture is optimistic: “Despite this month’s drop, we continue to hear from our builders that there is solid traffic in sales offices and a lot of consumer interest in new homes, which should bode well for sales moving forward,” commented Tom Woods, NAHB chairman.

Regionally, home sales rose by 28.0 per cent in the Northeast. The Midwest, South and West posted respective declines of 11.1 per cent, 4.1 per cent and 17.0 per cent. The inventory of new homes for sale was 215,000 units in June. This is a 5.4-month supply at the current sales pace.
Illinois reports strong sales in June
Illinois home sales surged 12.5 per cent in June compared to the same month last year while median prices also saw strong gains. Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) totaled 17,972 homes sold according to the Illinois Association of Realtors. The statewide median price rose to $194,243, an 8.5 per cent gain over June 2014. “The burst in sales growth last month was unexpected,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “Prices, however, are growing more modestly yet strongly. The foreclosure inventory seems to be playing a diminishing role in terms of both sales and prices with significant declines in the shares of sales accounted for by foreclosed properties in recent months.”
Rising confidence will drive home sales says Pimco CIO
The chief investment officer of investment management firm Pimco says that “rising confidence” will soon push home sales into double-digit figures. Mark Kiesel told CNBC that people are feeling better off and are looking to replace aging housing stock or remodel existing homes. He also predicts that there will be a shift from young Americans, currently living at home but feeling more confident about breaking out on their own.
Singer Sia buys LA mansion
Sia, the singer of hits including “Titanium” and “Elastic Heart” has just bought a $4.7 million mansion in Los Angeles. The Australian singer-songwriter’s new home is a 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom mansion in Los Feliz with 5,161 square feet of living space. Zillow reports that the home includes plenty of chandeliers; perfect for the singer of the MTV-award winning song “Chandelier”. 


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