April Single Family House Sales, May Consumer Confidence, March Home Price Index

May 25, 2021

Sales of new single‐family houses in April 2021 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 863,000, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. That was down nearly 6% monthly and below the 980,000 expected. Due to the lock downs last year and with little activity seen in April 2020, sales are up a whopping 48.3% year over year. The four major regions across the country saw losses on a monthly basis with big gains seen annually. The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2021 was $372,400. The average sales price was $435,400. Supply of homes for sale on the market is at 4.4 months at the current sales rate.

After the big rebound seen over the past four months, the Consumer Confidence Index was unchanged in May at 117.2 from 117.5 in April. Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved in May while optimism regarding the short-term outlook edged lower in May. Consumers were also less upbeat about the job market as the proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead fell. On the income front, some consumers expect their incomes to increase in the next six months. Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board said, “Overall, consumers remain optimistic, and confidence should remain resilient in the short term, as vaccination rates climb, COVID-19 cases decline further, and the economy fully reopens.”

The sort of backward looking Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index for March saw prices surge 13.3% from March 2020, the largest annual increase since December 2013. The National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, jumped 13.2% annually, up from 12.0% in the previous month. The same ongoing problems continue to hit the housing industry … the lack of supply along with rising material costs and constrained supply chains.