Last week's economic news included readings on builder confidence in housing market conditions, housing starts, building permits issued and existing home sales. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released. The National Association of Home Builders reported that home builder confidence fell one point in July to 59 as compared to an expected reading and June reading of 60. Builders again cited shortages of buildable lots and labor.
This week's report of economic events is shortened due to the Christmas holiday. Economic news through Wednesday included Existing Home Sales, New Home Sales and Consumer Spending.
November sales of pre-owned homes dipped lower than expected and prior month's readings according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Analysts expected existing home sales to slow to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.30 million sales, which was based on October's reading of 5.32 million sales. Instead, November's reading dropped to 4.76 million sales. November's drop represented a decline of 10.50 percent drop in existing home sales month-to-month; existing home sales were 3.80 percent lower year-over-year.
Housing markets show continued strength as the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes reached their second highest level since February 2007. Sales of pre-owned homes increased by 4.70 percent and reached 5.55 million sales on a seasonally adjusted annual basis against analyst expectations of 5.34 million sales and Augustâs reading of 5.30 million sales of previously owned homes.
Last week's scheduled economic news included reports on new and existing home sales, the FHFA House Price Index, and weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. The week finished with a report on consumer sentiment.