Extending July's weakness (in new, existing, and pending home sales), August is off to a rough start with existing sales and now new home sales has collapsed (down 3.4% vs expectations of a 2.5% gain). July's big plunge in sales was revised slightly higher but this left August with a 560k SAAR sales rate - the weakest since Dec 2016.
This is the first back to back decline in new home sales since June 2016.
Bloomberg does not that there may be caveats to this data (aren't there always?).
While data aren’t available at the state or local level, areas in Texas and Florida affected by Harvey and Irma accounted for about 14 percent of single-family housing units authorized by permits in 2016, the Census Bureau said in a special notice. If no sales information is received by the government, the units’ status is assumed to be unchanged. It may be hard to get a clear read on the market’s underlying trends in the next few months as economic data become volatile thanks to three major hurricanes: Harvey in southeast Texas in late August, Irma in Florida in early September, and Maria in Puerto Rico last week.
On the bright side, Median home prices tumbled...
But finally, as we noted previously, none of this fundamental supply/demand stuff matters...
Record high homebuilder stocks vs weakest macro housing data since Feb 2014.