New home sales stronger than expected

June sales down 0.6%, but annual rate comes in well above economists' forecasts.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
By Catherine Clifford, staff writer

I believe gas prices will:
  • Continue to drop
  • Fluctuate up and down
  • Rise much higher
Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 3.80%
15 yr fixed 3.20%
5/1 ARM 3.84%
30 yr refi 3.82%
15 yr refi 3.20%

Find personalized rates:

Rates provided by

NEW YORK ( -- New home sales fell in June, the government said Friday, but the annual rate was stronger than economists expected.

The Census Bureau reported Friday that June sales of new single-family homes came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000, down 0.6% from May's revised reading of 533,000.

That revision was significant; the original May reading was 512,000.

The June figure was much higher than the economists' consensus forecast of 505,000, as compiled by

Despite the monthly sales decrease, economists and investors reacted favorably because the upward revisions in previous months indicated a stronger market than previously believed.

"Sales were off slightly on the month, but the big story was the 50,000 sales added to the previous three months," said Adam York, economic analyst at Wachovia, in a written statement.

"While we are not ready to call a bottom, this is certainly a positive sign," said York.

Sales have declined 33.2% from the year-earlier rate of 793,000, the government said.

"People are still very afraid to commit," said Timothy Speiss, partner in charge at Wealth Advisers Practice, Eisner, LLP. With rising food and energy prices, mounting inflation concerns, and shrinking retirement portfolios, "people do not feel as wealthy, people do not feel as confident going into a home buying situation," he said.

"People are still in shock," said Speiss as they look at their increasing daily and monthly costs and decreasing assets. "Now when they look at a house, they have to think, do I want to take the plunge?"

The median sales price of new houses sold in June 2008 was $230,900, which is 1.4% higher than the revised median sales price of $227,700 from a month ago, but still 2% lower from the median house price of $235,500 from a year ago.

The average sale price for June was $298,600, which was $300, or 0.1%, lower than the revised average sales price of $298,900 in May. Compared with a year earlier, the average sale price has fallen 2.6% from $306,500.

"Mortgage rates were up in June - and have since moved even higher - threatening to offset much of the gains we have seen in affordability in recent months," said Wachovia's York.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of June was 426,000, which represented a 10-month supply of housing inventory at the current sales rate.

That was 3.8% smaller than the revised 10.4-month supply of housing inventory in May. The inventory of new homes available for sale was 20.5% higher than the 8.3-month supply of housing inventory reported in June 2007.

The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that sales of existing slowed more than expected last month to their lowest level in 10 years. Sales by homeowners dipped to an annual pace of 4.86 million, down 2.6% from a pace of 4.99 million in May. To top of page

Find mortgage rates in your area

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.