New-Home Sales Surged in February to 11-Month High, Consumer Spending Lags
Sales of newly built single-family homes surged in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000, the Commerce Department reported Friday. That 4.9 percent increase is the highest level this category of home sales has reached since March 2018.
The rate of sales rose in all regions in the U.S. except in the West, where sales were unchanged from January. Sales of new homes in the South hit their highest level in more than a decade.
The report, which was delayed by the government shutdown, also said the median sales price fell 3.6 percent from the previous year to $315,300.
The supply of homes at the current sales rate decreased to 6.1 months, the lowest since June, and is down from 6.5 months in January.
This statistic boils down to the ratio of houses for sale to houses sold. It provides an indication of the size of the for-sale inventory in relation to the number of houses currently being sold.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the entities that most often use these figures, the “months’ supply” indicates how long the current for-sale inventory would last given the current sales rate if no additional new houses were built.
In a separate report, the Commerce Department said Friday that U.S. consumer spending edged up just 0.1 percent in January, while incomes advanced a modest 0.2 percent in February.
The government said the weak gain in consumer spending followed a 0.6 percent plunge in December that marked the biggest one-month drop in more than nine years.
The 0.2 percent rise in incomes in February came after a 0.1 percent drop in incomes in January.
The two reports come on the heels of the government revising down its estimate of growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 2.2 percent.
A marked and well-documented slowdown in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, was given as the reason for the slowdown.
In The News
Notice: Undefined variable: pc_ID in /var/www/html/thewellnews/wp-content/themes/twentynineteen-child/template-parts/content/content-single.php on line 263
Notice: Undefined variable: primary_cat in /var/www/html/thewellnews/wp-content/themes/twentynineteen-child/template-parts/content/content-single.php on line 268
WASHINGTON - Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., surprised many on Capitol Hill Monday by announcing he will not seek a third term in the U.S. Senate. Blunt was widely expected to seek a third term in 2022, but in a video announcment, he suggested the time had... Read More
A fiery open letter signed by an international collection of scientists together with growing tensions between China and the U.S. caused the World Health Organization investigators this week to cancel an interim report on the origins of the coronavirus based on investigations in China. The letter,... Read More
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by former President Donald Trump to nullify his election loss in Wisconsin, rejecting the last remaining appeal seeking to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. In an unsigned order, the justices declined to take up Trump’s lawsuit... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for a non-prescription, over the counter nostril test for coronavirus, the agency announced on Friday. It's the first over the counter molecular test they have authorized for use without a prescription. It's also the latest... Read More
WASHINGTON – Federal agencies must take steps to expand access to voter registration and give their employees time off to vote or volunteer as nonpartisan poll workers, a new executive order from the White House says. President Joe Biden signed the order Sunday as part of... Read More
PHOENIX - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order last week requiring public schools to offer in-person, teacher-led instruction by Monday, March 15. According to the Republican governor, 12 of Arizona’s 15 counties are in phases where all schools are safe to open, including in... Read More