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EH Update: Current Economic Events
- The housing market is continuing to firm. Demand is robust as sales of new and existing single-family homes both increased m/m in July, gaining +5.4% and +2.7%, respectively.
- On a y/y basis, sales of new homes were up a very strong +25.8% and sales of existing homes by +11%. Supply is thin in both markets, while prices of new homes are up +2% and prices of existing homes are up +5.8%.
- Housing starts managed a gain of +0.2% m/m in July for a +10.1% y/y increase. Although housing permits fell a sharp -16.3% m/m, much of this was a result of a change in New York City real estate laws, which pushed permits into previous months, and the y/y increase was +7.5%. Not surprisingly, homebuilders are becoming increasingly optimistic as the Housing Market Index gained +1 to 61 in August, substantially better than 55 in the corresponding period last year.
- Meanwhile, consumers are apparently also feeling more upbeat as the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index increased +10.5 points to 101.5 in August, the second-highest reading in the recovery.