New Home Sales Did Not Help the Economy in July

The U.S. Department of Commerce released their new home sales data for July 2011 this morning. Here’s your Cheat Sheet:

Sales: Sales of new single-family houses in July 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000.

Month-over-Month Change: This is 0.7% below the revised June 2011 rate of 300,000.

Year-over-Year Change: This is 6.8% above the July 2010 estimate of 279,000.

Prices: The median sales price of new houses sold in July 2011 was $222,000; the average sales price was $272,300. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 165,000.

Inventory: This represents a supply of 6.6 months at the current sales rate.

Commentary: Last month’s decline in home sales was more than expected, falling to the lowest level in five months. Economists had expected an improvement in July to a rate of 310,000. Builders are becoming less inclined to start new projects when there are so many cheaper, pre-existing homes flooding the market, with new foreclosures being added to the market every day. And with unemployment still high, low mortgage rates are unlikely to prove a resolution to that problem.

Don’t Miss: European Banks’ Borrowing Costs Are Rising to Dangerous Levels