US Home Sales Drop in May

Homebuyers pulled away from the builders in May, even as affordability improved thanks to lower mortgage rates.

Sales of newly built homes fell 7.8% month-to-month and were 3.7% lower compared with May 2018, according to the U.S. Census. This number represents signed contracts, not closings, so it is a very recent indicator of buyers out shopping during the month.

The decline in sales came even as home shoppers were watching mortgage rates fall. The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage started May at 4.29%, according to Mortgage News Daily, and then ended the month at 3.94%, a sizable savings on a monthly payment, especially given higher home prices.

“The lower mortgage rates haven’t unleashed a new wave of demand,” said Buck Horne, homebuilding analyst and senior vice-president at Raymond James.

Horne pointed to rising competition from the increasing supply of existing homes for sale, especially in the markets where builders are most active. Supply of existing homes for sale is up a striking 85% in Las Vegas annually, up 52% in Seattle, and up 21% in Dallas, according to Horne. Supply in Southern California is also up in double-digits.

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