After a smorgasbord of ugly housing market related data recently, it is no surprise that analysts expected a drop (albeit a small 0.5% MoM) in July (after a surprising bounce in June), but, as is the way with this data, despite a plunge to 13-month lows in homebuilder sentiment (specifically noting the drop in prospective buyer traffic), existing home sales rose a surprising 2.0% MoM in July.
Notably, we are nearing the end of the base effect as YoY, existing home sales are only up 1.53%.
This is the second straight monthly jump in existing home sales...
"We see inventory beginning to tick up, which will lessen the intensity of multiple offers," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.
"Much of the home sales growth is still occurring in the upper-end markets, while the mid- to lower-tier areas aren't seeing as much growth because there are still too few starter homes available."
The buying is all in the high end with sub-$250k home sales plunging 30% YoY and home sales over $1 million surging almost 60%...
Three of four regions in the U.S. posted sales gains last month, led by strength in the Midwest. Purchases also increased in the West and South.
Sales of previously owned single-family homes increased 2.7% last month to a 5.28 million pace. Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 2.7% in July.
The median selling price of a previously owned home rose 17.8% from a year ago to $359,900 in July and we note that Existing homes now cost more than new homes...
Finally, don't forget, consumers’ views of homebuying conditions in early August were the most negative on record, according to a University of Michigan survey of consumer confidence.