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By New_Deal_democrat June 23, 2016 11:11 am
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Housing resumes a positive trend
The big story in housing this month was always going to be whether or not last month's post-recession record in new home sales was going to be revised away.
 
And the good news is, it wasn't, although it was revised 30,000 lower.  On top of that, a second piece of very good news is that this month's number was higher than every other post-recession number except for last month's:
 
 
In other words, the most leading number we have for housing shows that an upward trend has at least for now resumed.
 
There was a third piece of fairly good news in housing permits as well.  While the overall number declined, revisions to previous months' data made the April number for single family permits a post-recession high:
 
 
What has happened is that the new highs for single family units have not increased by more than permits for multi-unit structures have decreased.
 
Let's also compare permits and starts.  Permits (red in the graph below) spiked in May and June of last year due to the expiration of an NYC program.  A second spike in November was also largely due to NY State.  But while permits sagged after the spikes, actual starts increased slightly in spring 2015 and have gone sideways since:
 
 
It's also worth noting that yesterday's existing home sales number also set a post-recession record (courtesy Calculated Risk):
 
 
Finally, let's look at house prices (blue in the graph below).  These have been flat for nearly two years, while housing starts (green) as indicated above, continued to increase until one year ago and have been flat since then:
 

I've also included prices for existing homes.  Unfortunately the NAR has apparently required FRED to delete results more than 12 months old, but you can see that there has been little upward movement there, unless the last month or two start a new upward leg.  Full disclosure, this is not in accord with my mantra that sales lead prices.  It is possible that big surge of foreign all-cash buyers, which has abated in the last year, distorted the normal progression.

 
But the bottom line is that the last two months' data show that the housing market - the single most forward looking part of the US economy - has renewed an upward trend.
 
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