New Home Sales rebounded very modestly in December, after tumbling in November, but printed significantly below expectations.
Purchases of new single-family houses increased 1.6% MoM - the first gain in 5 months...
There was a 30.6% surge in Midwest housing, from 72K annualized to 94K
New Home Sales were expected to come in at 870k SAAR but only managed to rebound from a downwardly revised 829k to 842k SAAR...
For the full year, sales climbed to 811,000, the best level in more than a decade.
However, it does not take rocket science to comprehend the driver of the recent slowdown in sales... record median home prices rose 8.0% YoY to $355,900.
15% of new homes sold in Dec. cost more than $500,000, down from 17% prior month.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday cited real estate as a bright spot in the economy even as other sectors have cooled.
“The housing sector has more than fully recovered from the downturn, supported in part by low mortgage interest rates,” he said in a briefing after the latest gathering of policy makers.
Well played Jay!