EconUpdate by P. Duffy
New home sales edge up 1.0 percent in July, but down 27.2 percent year-on-year
New home sales edged up 1.0 percent in July from June to an annual rate of 708,000, but plummeted 27.2 percent from the frenzied level of July 2020. Months of inventory rose again to 6.2, up from 6.0 in June and 3.6 in July 2020. In July, both the median sales price ($390,500) and the average sales price ($446,000) hit new records. The year-on-year decline in sales was highest in the Northeast (-47.1%), the MidWest (-44.1%) and the lowest in the West (-11.9%).
Purchase loan apps rise 3 percent from previous week, down 16 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications increased 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 3 percent but down 16 percent year-on-year, and refinance activity up 1 percent and 3 percent higher year-on-year. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.03 percent from 3.06 percent.
Demand for second homes fell 21 percent year-on-year in July
Demand for second homes fell 21 percent year over year in July, the second consecutive month of annual declines in mortgage-purchase locks. This followed 13 months of surging activity in second-home purchases. Demand for primary home purchases fell by 4 percent year over year in July. This was the first time the growth rate for second-home demand fell behind that of primary homes since April 2020.