MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
July existing home sales fall for sixth consecutive month to annual rate of 4.81 million
July existing-home sales fell for the sixth consecutive month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million. Sales were down 5.9% from June and 20.2% from one year ago. The median existing-home sales price climbed 10.8% from one year ago to $403,800. That’s down $10,000, however, from last month’s record high of $413,800. The inventory of unsold existing homes rose to 1.31 million by the end of July, or the equivalent of 3.3 months at the current monthly sales pace.
Retail sales flat in July but up 10.3 percent year-on-year
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July 2022, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $682.8 billion, virtually unchanged from the previous month, but 10.3 percent above July 2021. The rise in the CPI for the same time periods was flat in July and 8.5 percent year-on-year.
Leading Economic Index declines for fifth consecutive month in July as near-term recession risks rise
The US LEI declined for a fifth consecutive month in July, suggesting recession risks are rising in the near term. Consumer pessimism and equity market volatility as well as slowing labor markets, housing construction, and manufacturing new orders suggest that economic weakness will intensify and spread more broadly throughout the US economy. The Conference Board projects the US economy will not expand in the third quarter and could tip into a short but mild recession by the end of the year or early 2023.
Purchase loan applications fall 1 percent from previous week, down 18 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications decreased 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 1 percent (and down 18 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 5 percent (and down 82 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.45 percent from 5.47 percent.