MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
July new home sales up 13.9 percent from June and 36.3 percent year-on-year
Sales of new single-family houses in July 2020 rose to an annual rate of 901,000, up 13.9 percent from June and 36.3 percent year-on-year. It’s also the highest rate since December 2006. The inventory supply timeline fell to 4.0 months, down from 4.6 months in June and 6.0 months a year ago. Median sales prices fell to $330,600 as the largest share of homes were priced from $200k to $400k, accounting for 60 percent of the total.
Consumer Confidence Index falls sharply to the lowest point since 2014
Consumer Confidence declined in August for the second consecutive month, falling 6.9 points to 84.8, the lowest level since 2014. The Present Situation Index decreased sharply, with consumers stating that both business and employment conditions had deteriorated over the past month. Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook, and their financial prospects, also declined and continues on a downward path. Consumer spending has rebounded in recent months but increasing concerns amongst consumers about the economic outlook and their financial well-being will likely cause spending to cool in the months ahead.
July durable goods orders rise another 11.2 percent, down 12.1 percent year-to-date
New orders for manufactured durable goods in July increased 11.2 percent to $230.7 billion. This increase, up three consecutive months, followed a 7.7 percent June increase. Transportation equipment, also up three consecutive months, led the increase, rising 35.6 percent to $74.7 billion due to defense equipment as well as cars and trucks. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 2.4 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 9.9 percent.
Purchase loans edge up 0.4 percent from previous week, up 33 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index decreased 6.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 0.4 percent (up 33 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 10 percent (but up 34 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgagesdecreased to 3.11 percent from 3.13 percent.