2011 Economic Calendar
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New Home Sales  
Released On 8/23/2011 10:00:00 AM For Jul, 2011
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Home Sales - Level - SAAR312 K298 K313 K302 K to 330 K298 K

Bad news is building out of the housing sector. Last week's report on existing home sales showed surprising contraction as does today's report on new home sales where the annual sales rate fell to 298,000 units, down 0.7 percent in the month. The report includes significant downward revisions of 12,000 to June, now at 300,000, and of 6,000 to May, now at 315,000. Prices of existing homes contracted in July as they did for the median price on new homes, down a steep 6.3 percent in the month to $222,000. The average price for a new home was little changed at $272,300.

Good news is that supply didn't build, holding at 6.6 months. New homes for sale slipped an adjusted 0.6 percent in the month to a new record low of 165,000.

The outlook for the new home market and for home builders remains very difficult. Low interest rates may be a big plus but are being more than offset by heavy supply of low priced existing homes, by appraisal uncertainties, and by continuing tightness in the credit market. Next data out of the housing sector will be tomorrow morning with MBA purchase applications, weekly data that have been showing weakness in purchase demand.

Consensus Outlook
New home sales in June fell 1.0 percent in to an annual rate of 312,000. By Census region, weakness was led by a monthly 15.8 drop in the Northeast with the West declining 12.7 percent. The Midwest gained 9.5 percent while the South rose 3.4 percent. Months' supply eased a bit, to 6.3 months at June's sales rate, compared to 6.4 and 6.5 in the two prior months. Caution on the part of homebuilders has cut into supply as total homes for sale dipped 3,000 to 164,000-a new record low in nearly 50 years of data. Price strength was positive with the median up 5.8 percent to $235,200 and resulting in a year-ago gain of 7.2 percent. A caveat, however, is that this price data are not on a repeat transaction basis.

New home sales measure the number of newly constructed homes with a committed sale during the month. The level of new home sales indicates housing market trends and, in turn, economic momentum and consumer purchases of furniture and appliances.  Why Investors Care
There is no question that lower interest rates boost home sales. Other factors also impact housing decisions, such as employment and income growth, and wealth stemming from stock market gains.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/262/243/234/255/246/237/268/239/2610/2611/2812/23
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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