Monday, September 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sales of US new homes fall in July

By
August 26, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — Fewer Americans bought new homes in July, evidence that the housing sector is struggling to gain traction more than five years into the economic recovery.

The Commerce Department said Monday that new-home sales fell 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000. The report also revised up the June sales rate to 422,000 from 406,000.

New-home sales plunged 30.8 percent in the Northeast, followed by smaller drop-offs in the Midwest and West. Purchases were up 8.1 percent in the South, a region that usually accounts for more than half of all new-home sales.

Inventory of new homes on the market rose to six months, a level last reached in October 2011. The median price of a new home last month was $269,800, up 2.9 percent over the past 12 months.

But the steady rebound in construction coming out of the Great Recession has stalled. Sales lost much of their momentum beginning last October, derailed by modest wage growth, a bump in mortgage rates and many builders focusing more on rental apartments and high-end homes for wealthier buyers.

The monthly sales data can be extremely volatile, yet the trend line shows that the market for new homes is “running in place,” said Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial.

“The sales rate basically has not budged over the past ten months,” Moody said.

The Monday sales data dampened enthusiasm over other recent reports that the pace of buying has recently improved.

“This is a softer report than expected and suggests housing demand has stabilized in recent quarters, as opposed to improving,” said Michael Gapen, an analyst at the bank Barclays.

Sales of existing homes rose 2.4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million, the National Association of Realtors reported last week. That’s the fourth consecutive monthly increase and the highest annual rate since September of last year.

The report showed that “distressed” sales are making up a lower share of purchases. Sales are distressed when they are the result of foreclosures or involve homes for which the seller owed more on the mortgage than the home was worth.

Distressed sales accounted for 9 percent of the purchases in July — the lowest share since the association began tracking the figure in October 2008. Distressed sales, which tend to drag down neighborhood prices, accounted for 36 percent of sales in 2009.

Separately, construction starts climbed 15.7 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.1 million homes, the government said. Applications for building permits, a gauge of future activity, also rose last month.

But much of the construction gains came from the apartments sector, which experienced a 33 percent increase last month. By contrast, single-family home construction rose 8.3 percent.

Also, the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo’s index of builder sentiment rose in August to 55, up two points from a revised 53 for July. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as improving.

At the same time, price gains have started to slow and mortgage rates have dropped since the start of 2014. That could eventually help boost sales.

And the average rate for a 30-year mortgage fell to 4.1 percent this week, the lowest level this year, according to Freddie Mac. At the beginning of the year, the average rate was 4.53 percent.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vaca Christian hits FM airwaves

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Popeye’s seeks Fairfield site

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
North Bay Pediatrics celebrates anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

Sutter Solano has new leader

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

 
.

US / World

More drought forecast next year across West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
2016 may loom, but Jeb Bush is focused on business

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

North Korea powerful temptation for some Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Thanks go out to Telstar Instruments

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Donaldson’s walk-off HR powers A’s past Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Penalty nixes Raiders rally, Patriots win 16-9

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Giants swept by Padres; fall 4 ½ behind Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Stanton leads Cardinals past 49ers 23-14

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armijo boys run to 2nd-place finish in Irvine

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Hamilton wins in Singapore, takes F1 title lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ex-Titans kicker Bironas killed in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NFL roundup: Cowboys erase 21-point deficit, beat Rams 34-31

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Hur pulls away for LPGA Tour win in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

Logano wins at New Hampshire in 2nd Chase race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
.

Business

 
Native Americans getting final settlement payments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

5 ways to protect yourself from data breaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Dilbert Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7