Last week’s economic reports included readings on sales of new and pre-owned homes and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.
Realtors® Report Sales of Pre-Owned Homes Fall in June
Sales of previously-owned homes fell last month according to real estate pros. 5.27 million homes would be sold in 2019 if the current pace of sales was unchanged for all of 2019. Analysts expected a reading of 5.33 million sales based on May’s reading of 5.38 million sales. Analysts said that sales of pre-owned homes fell despite lower mortgage rates and the seasonal peak home-buying season.
Sales of pre-owned homes rose 1.60 percent in the Northeast and were 1.60 percent higher in the Midwest. Sales fell 3.40 percent in the South and were 3.50 percent lower in the West. Factors contributing to lagging home sales included low inventories of available homes and steadily rising home prices.
Home prices have risen every month for more than seven years. Fewer homes for sale and higher home prices limit buyers’ choices and their ability to qualify for financing needed to buy higher-priced homes.
New Home Sales Rise in June after Two-Month Lull
The sales pace for new single-family homes rose to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 646,000 sales as compared to an expected sales pace of 657,000 for new homes. May’s reading was downwardly revised from a sales pace of 626,000 sales to 604,000 sales. New homes sold fastest in the South and West and were slower in the Northeast and Midwest regions according to the Commerce Department.
Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall
Freddie Mac reported average mortgage rates approaching three year lows last week. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.75 percent and were six basis points lower. The average rate for 15-year fixed rate mortgages dropped five basis points to 3.18 percent; rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.47 percent and were one basis point lower.
First-time jobless claims fell last week to 206,000 new claims filed as compared to the expected reading of 218,000 new claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 216,000 first-time unemployment claims filed.
This week’s economic reports include readings on housing markets, pending home sales and the post meeting statement of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to give a press conference and the Labor Department will release monthly updates for public and private-sector jobs created and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on average mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.