5/25: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy

Existing home sales fall 2.7% in April, but up 33.9% year-on-year

What does this mean?  Rising prices and limited inventory continue to hamper sales, but demand remains strong.

Existing-home sales fell 2.7% to 5.85 million in April, marking the third straight month of decline, but they were still up 33.9% year-on-year. The median existing-home sales price rose to 19.1% year-over-year to $341,600, both record highs.  Unsold inventory sits at a 2.4-month supply at the current sales pace, slightly up from March’s 2.1-month supply and down from the 4.0-month supply recorded in April 2020.


May U.S. Output Index surges to record high, but cost burdens continue to mount

What does this mean?  A rapidly rebounding economy continues to put pressure on supply chains, increasing costs.

The IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index posted 68.1 in May, up from 63.5 in April. The rate of expansion was unprecedented after surpassing April’s previous series record. Goods producers and service providers alike noted stronger paces of
activity growth midway through the second quarter. However, increasing cost burdens continued to be keenly felt, as the rate of input price inflation soared to a new survey record high, often linked to a further marked worsening of supplier performance.


Investor purchases in homes rise for first time in a year as economy rebounds

What does this mean?  Investors focused on single-family homes as demand for more living space continues.

Investors bought about 1 of every 7 U.S. homes (14.9%) in the first quarter—a rebound from the prior three quarters, during which they bought closer to 1 in 10 homes. Investor market share is now just shy of the 16.1% level it hit in the first quarter of 2020, when the pandemic had barely begun. Investor purchases of single-family homes rose 4.8% year over year in the first quarter, outpacing growth in every other property type. By comparison, investor purchases rose just 0.9% for condos, and fell a respective 3.6% and 11.6% for townhomes and multifamily properties.