Yesterday's new home sales for July were very weak as are today's existing home sales, down 1.3 percent to a lower-than-expected annualized rate of 5.440 million. This year's trend for existing home sales, like that for sales of new homes, has been edging lower but is still near expansion highs.
Existing home sales data are split between single-family homes, down 0.8 percent in the month to a 4.840 million rate, and condo sales, down a monthly 4.8 percent to a 600,000 rate. Despite July's weakness for condos, the category is still up 5.3 percent year-on-year vs a 1.7 percent rise for single-family homes. Total resales are up 2.1 percent on the year.
High prices increase the attraction of condos though the median price for an existing home (which includes condos) did fall 1.9 percent in July to $258,300. The year-on-year rate, however, is up a sizable 6.2 percent which is in line with other readings on home prices.
The weakness in July sales didn't help supply which actually fell 1.0 percent in the month with 1.920 million resales on the market. Supply relative to sales is unchanged for the 3rd straight report at 4.2 months.
Regional sales data are narrowly mixed showing July strength in the West which leads at a 5.0 percent year-on-year rate and monthly weakness in the East which brings up the rear at a yearly minus 1.5 percent.
The nuts and bolts of housing are not showing strength this summer with permits down and sales down. Though prices are firm, the sector does not look like it will be a strong contributor to the second half economy.
Existing home sales are expected to move higher in July to a 5.565 million annualized rate from June's 5.520 million. Expectations are based on a strong rise in the pending home sales index which tracks contract signings and more times than not correctly signals changes for final sales. Prices in the June existing homes report, in contrast to the new homes report, were on the climb and could limit July's sales results.