Treasury Bond Yields drop – The 10-year Treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.82%, down from 2.87% last week. The 30-year Treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.97%, down from 3.03% last week.
Mortgage rates slightly lower again this week – The August 23, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.51%, down from 4.53% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.98%, down from 4.01% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.82%, down slightly from 3.86% last week.New home sales dip in July – The Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes dropped to the weakest pace in nine months in July. New home sales fell 1.7% in July from June’s levels to an annualized rate of 627,000 sales. Analysts expected the number to be closer to a rate of 645,000 sales. Prices increased just 1.8% from last July’s levels. Inventory of new homes for sale also increased to a 5.9 month supply in July. That was up from 5.7 months in June.
July U.S. Total existing-home sales – The National Association of Realtors reported that the number of sales of previously-owned homes fell for a fourth straight month in July. Existing-home sales, which include single-family homes, town-homes, condominiums, and co-ops fell 0.7% in July from June. Year-over-year sales were 1.5% below last July’s sales pace. That marked the fifth straight month of year-over-year declines in sales and the slowest pace since 2016. It should be noted that the number of existing- home sales in 2017 was a record number. Home prices continued to increase. The median price paid for an existing-home in July was 4.5% higher than last July. That marked the 77th straight month of year-over-year price increases. Nationally, housing inventory decreased 0.5% in July. The unsold inventory index stood at a 4.3 month supply, unchanged from last July’s level.
California existing home sales slow for third straight month in July – Prices higher – The California Association of Realtors reported that existing single family home sales totaled 406,920 in July on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis. That was down 0.9% from June and 3.4% below last July’s level when home sales totaled 421,460 on an annualized basis. The state-wide median price paid for a home was $591,460 in July, up 7.6% from last July. On a regional level, prices in Los Angeles County rose 5.5%, Orange County prices rose 5.6%, and Ventura County prices rose just 2.1% from July 2017. Inventory levels continued to increase. The unsold inventory index ticked up to a 3.3 month supply in July, up from 3.2% last July. A normal market has a 6 -7 month supply. Active listings increased for a fourth consecutive month after 33 months of declines, increasing 11.9% from last July.