The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that new residential sales plummeted 13.4 percent in July. Sales of new single-family homes decreased from an annualized 455,000 in June to 394,000 in July, with lower figures in all regions of the country. The largest declines occurred in the West, South, and Midwest. The consensus had been for modest increases in the month, despite higher mortgage rates. Freddie Mac reports that the average 30-year mortgage rate was 4.58 percent this week, up from 3.35 percent in the first week of May.
There were 5.2 months of supply in July, up from 4.3 months in June, reflecting the disappointing sales numbers overall. That is the highest inventory rate since January 2012. The median home price was $253,900, up from $244,000 the month before.
Chad Moutray is the chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.