Economic Indicators: US New Home Sales

US New Home Sales (Feb) M/M 592K vs. Exp. 559K (Prev. 555K, Rev. 558K)
US New Home Sales (Feb) M/M 592K vs. Exp. 559K (Prev. 555K, Rev. 558K)

From Nomura:

“Initial jobless claims: Initial claims remain at historically low levels after a continued decline during the recovery. For the week ending 11 March, the 4-week average of initial claims was at 237k, up only marginally from the prior week. As labor market conditions remain healthy, we continue to expect this series to remain low.” “New home sales: New home sales rebounded in January, increasing 3.7% to an annualized rate of 555k. However, incoming data suggest some moderation in this series in February. Sales of single family homes index in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing survey inched downward slightly, but remained at an elevated level. However, mortgage applications for home purchases fell modestly, in part, due to higher mortgage rates which picked up after the election. In addition, the latest NAHB report indicates that industry headwinds such as labor shortage and supply-side constraints still persist. Therefore, we forecast a 0.5% m-o-m increase to an annualized rate of 558k (Consensus: +1.8% to an annual rate of 565k).”

From Goldman:

Hard and soft data on the US housing market The economic indicators monitored by analysts can be roughly divided into soft data (e.g., sentiment and confidence surveys) and harder data (e.g., realized employment, production and sales measures). In the immediate aftermath of the November US presidential election, forward-looking sentiment indicators picked up solidly, in advance of actual gains in harder data ("Sentiment Ahead of Data", Global Markets Daily, January 17, 2017). The strong payrolls report in February is one example of a hard data point potentially validating the positive outlook manifested in consumer and business confidence surveys. The pattern of strong hard data following strong soft data could be a reflection of the forward-looking nature of the surveys, but could also partly reflect a causal connection, with strong "animal spirits" causing the pick-up in the harder data.