News & Events

Economic Advisor: May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018


 

Sales of existing and new homes declined, while layoffs increased.

Existing Homes Sales

Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums fell 2.5 percent in April to an annual rate of 5.46 million, down from March’s rate of 5.6 million, the National Association of Realtors reported last week. Compared to the same period last year, April’s sales were down 1.4 percent from April 2017.

Once again, low inventory levels were to blame for the drop-off in sales volume, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

“The root cause of the underperforming sales activity in much of the country so far this year continues to be the utter lack of available listings on the market to meet the strong demand for buying a home,” Yun noted in a public statement. “Realtors say the healthy economy and job market are keeping buyers in the market for now even as they face rising mortgage rates. However, inventory shortages are even worse than in recent years, and home prices keep climbing above what many home shoppers are able to afford.”

Looking at price, April’s median price for existing homes of all types grew to $257,900, which was 5.3 percent higher than April 2017’s price of $245,000. This marked the 74th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

Looking at supply, the inventory of homes for sale at the end of April grew 9.8 percent over March to reach 1.8 million existing homes for sale. However, when compared to last year, that was down 6.3 percent from April 2017’s 1.92 million units.

New Home Sales

Transactions for new, single-family homes dropped to an annual rate of 662,000 in April, which was 1.5 percent below March’s rate of 672,000, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly reported last week. April’s new home sales were 11.6 percent higher than April 2017’s pace of 593,000.

Looking at price and supply, April’s median sales price for new homes was $312,400, and the average price was $407,300. The inventory of new homes for sale in April totaled 300,000, representing a 5.4-month supply at April’s sales rate.

Initial Jobless Claims

First-time claims for unemployment benefits filed by the newly unemployed during the week ending May 19 shot up to 234,000, an increase of 11,000 claims over the prior week’s total of 223,000, according to last week’s report from the Employment and Training Administration.

The four-week moving average, which is considered a more stable measure of jobless claims, grew to 219,750, a gain of 6,250 claims from the preceding week’s average of 213,500 claims.

This latest report marked the 168th straight week that initial claims have come in below the 300,000-claim level, which economists consider an indicator of a growing job market. The Administration added that it continues to experience hurricane-related reporting difficulties in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

This week, we can expect:

  • Tuesday — Consumer confidence for May from The Conference Board.
  • Thursday — Initial jobless claims for last week from the Employment and Training Administration; personal incomes and spending for April from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Friday — Car and truck sales for May from the auto manufacturers; construction spending for April from the Census Bureau; payrolls, unemployment rate, hourly earnings and average workweek for May from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Posted in Economic Advisor
Search News & Events
News Categories
Monthly Archives
Get started now

Fill out an online application today. It's easy.

Checklist complete?

Get your documents in order and we'll handle the rest.

NADA Guides

Value your mobile, modular
or manufactured home.