New Homes Sales hit highest in nearly a year, Home Prices pushed higher in February, Consumer Confidence edged a bit lower in April
April 25, 2017
The Commerce Department reported on Tuesday that New Home Sales in March hit their highest level in nearly a year, up 5.8% from February to an annual rate of 621,000 versus the 590,000 expected. Sales were up nearly 16% from a year ago. The median sales price rose 7.5% from February, while inventories edged lower to a 5.2 month supply from 5.4 months in February. Sales were driven by a strengthening labor market along with a shortage of properties.
Home prices pushed higher in February fueled by strong demand and limited supply. The Case-Shiller 20-City Home price Index rose nearly 6% from February 2016 through February 2017 and up 0.7% month-over-month from January to February. Seattle, Portland and Denver sported the largest increases with prices up 11.3%, 9.7% and 0.2% respectively. “Housing and home prices continue on a generally positive upward trend,” said spokesperson David Blitzer.
After a sharp increase in the previous two months, Consumer Confidence edged a bit lower in April, but remained at strong levels, reports the Conference Board. The Consumer Confidence Index slipped to 120.3 in April, down from 124.9 in March, which was the highest level since December 2000. The report showed that consumers were somewhat less optimistic about the short-term outlook for business conditions, employment and income prospects.