This Week in the Housing Market

Reports on existing home and new home sales go in opposite directions.

New-home sales fell 13.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000 in July, the lowest rate since October, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today, according to Still, new-home sales in July were up 6.8% from July 2012. Month-to-month data for new home are quite volatile and economists had expected some pull back after sales gains in recent months.

On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors® issued its monthly report on existing home sales, compiled from MLS information around the country. According tothis national composite, home sales rose strongly in July, with the median price maintaining double-digit year-over-year increases.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said changes in affordability are impacting the market. “Mortgage interest rates are at the highest level in two years, pushing some buyers off the sidelines,” he said. “The initial rise in interest rates provided strong incentive for closing deals. However, further rate increases will diminish the pool of eligible buyers.” See Yun’s full statement in the video.

Of course, all real estate is local. For July home sales in the Flagstaff home sales market, check out my Monthly Report on Flagstaff Home Sales.

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