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The U.S. Census Bureau reported  new residential building permits were down 5.1% in June to a seasonally adjusted 1.598M, 23.3% above the June 2020 rate of 1.296M. Single-family permits were up 6.3% over a revised May figure of 1.134M. Privately-owned housing starts were up 6.3% (the highest rate in 3 months) to 1.643M, 29.1% above the June 2020 rate of 1.237M. Single-family housing starts were also up, coming in at 1.160M, 6.3% above May’s revised 1.091M. Privately-owned housing completions reported at 1.324M, down 1.4% from May, and up 6.4% over May 2020. All regions saw new residential building permits drop. The Northeast led the way at a seasonally adjusted -8.3% over May, followed by the West -7.4%, the Midwest -6.7%, and the South -6.0%.
The Labor Department reported  higher initial jobless claims for the week ending July 17th. The seasonally adjusted initial claims came in at a 2-month high of 419,000, an increase of 51,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility was 385,250. There were increases in filings in California, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Texas. The number of continuing unemployment claims made through regular state programs fell by 29,000 to 3.23 million for the week ended July 10, this is the lowest reading for insured unemployment since March 2020’s 3.09M. The four-week moving average for continuing claims fell by 44,000 to 3.33M, the lowest reading since March 2020’s 2.07M. Almost 12.57M people were receiving benefits under all programs for the week ending July 3rd, down 1.26M from late June. A year ago, nearly 33M people were collecting benefits.
The National Association of Realtors reported  that sales of existing homes grew 1.4% in June to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.86M, up 22.9% as compared to June 2020. This follows four consecutive months of decline. Sales of single-family homes fell to a 5.07M annual rate (+24.4% Y/Y) while existing condo sales reported a 720K annual rate (+56.5% Y/Y). Total housing inventory reported in at 1.25M, up 3.3% over May’s inventory (-18.8% Y/Y). Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days, unchanged from May. Eighty-nine percent of the homes sold in June 2021 were on the market for less than a month. The median sales price increased to $350,300 (+23.6% Y/Y). The median existing single-family home price was $363,300 in June (+23.4% Y/Y) while existing condo price was $311,600 (+19.1% Y/Y). Regionally the South reported no change in existing-home sales while all other regions showed increases; Northeast (+2.8%), Midwest (+3.1%), and the West (+1.7%).
Upcoming Economic Reports:
Tuesday July 27 – Core Durable Goods Orders (MoM) (June)
Thursday July 29 – GDP (QoQ) (Q2)