US Single Family Home Sales Drop in January

New U.S. single-family home sales tumbled in January from a 10-month high as sales in the West region plunged, but the overall housing market recovery remains intact.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales dropped 9.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 494,000 units, almost unwinding December’s sharp increase. December’s sales pace was unrevised at 544,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 8.3 percent of the housing market, slipping to a 520,000 unit-rate last month.

Sales in the West, which has seen a sharp increase in home prices amid tight inventories, plummeted 32.1 percent to a 110,000 unit-rate, the lowest level since July 2014. The percent decline was the largest since May 2010.

Sales rose 3.4 percent in the Northeast, despite a blizzard in late January. They fell 5.9 percent in the Midwest and rose 1.8 percent in the populous South.

Though the new homes market appears to have cooled, with construction activity falling in January and homebuilder sentiment softening in February, housing in general remains supported by a tightening labor market, which is lifting wage growth and bolstering household formation.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza