US new home sales hit near 9-year high

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

SALES of new homes in the United States hit their high­est pace in nearly nine years in July, helped by pentup de­mand and ul­tra-low mort­gage rates, the Com­merce De­part­ment has re­ported.

Sales of new sin­gle-fam­ily houses reg­is­tered an an­nual rate of 654,000 units, 12.4 per­cent higher than June and more than 31pc higher than a year ago.

That was well above an­a­lyst pre­dic­tions and buoyed hopes of con­sis­tent strength in the hous­ing mar­ket, a key part of the econ­omy.

At US$294,600, the me­dian sales price in July was roughly in line with the 2015 av­er­age, but was ex­pected to rise.

Ian Shep­herd­son of Pan­theon Macro­eco­nomics noted that the monthly hous­ing sales data is very volatile and that a re­cent slow­down in mort­gage ap­pli­ca­tions could sig­nal some­what weaker de­mand in the com­ing months.

How­ever, he added, “The head­line sales num­bers look great, in­ven­tory is low and fall­ing, and prices are ris­ing by about 5pc year on year. If sales can be main­tained at any­thing close to the July level, home­build­ing ac­tiv­ity will need to rise sharply.” –

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