In the News
Existing home sales rose 6.5% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units from 5.06 million units in June. Compared to a year ago, existing home sales were up 17.2% in July. The inventory of unsold existing homes on the market rose 5.6% to 2.28 million in July, a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace.
New home sales fell 13.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000 units. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales were 6.8% higher than July 2012. At the current sales pace, there is a 5.2-month supply of new homes on the market.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending August 16 fell 4.6%. Purchase volume rose 1%. Refinancing applications decreased 8%.
The index of leading economic indicators — designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months — rose 0.6% in July, following a flat reading in June.
Retail sales fell 1.9% for the week ending August 17, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 2.2%.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending August 17 rose by 13,000 to 336,000. Continuing claims for the week ending August 10 rose by 29,000 to 2.999 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 330,500.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on durable goods orders on August 26, the housing pri