Mix shift begins to kick in

Behind this month’s new home sales headline drop, median prices flatten, and may be turning down.

By John McManus | Builder

The new home sales top-line number announced yesterday by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development fell way short of housing analyst expectations. So, what happened? Compared with a strong June 2017 number, and an even stronger July 2016 number, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 new home orders in July was a sharp surprise to the negative.

Most analysts focus, for perspective’s sake, on two areas of yesterday’s data print. One is the “noise” in the data. The other is “the tell” in regional detail that may [or may not, since we’re merely talking about one month’s performance] reflect the beginning of a price mix shift to more attainable payment levels for would-be home shoppers.

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