Following the unexpectedly large decline in existing home sales (directionally not unexpected given the surge in mortgage rates, plunge in mortgage apps, slump in homebuilder sentiment, drop in building permits, and weakening in labor market signals that are emerging), analysts expected new home sales to slide 1.8% MoM in April. They were right in direction but drastiucally wrong in magnitude – New Home Sales in April collapsed a stunning 16.6% MoM – that is the worst drop since the peak of the COVID crisis (and before that the taper tantrum in 2013).
Home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach for many Americans, as a rapid run-up in mortgage rates compounds the effects of limited inventory and record prices. The average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 5.25% last week, up from around 3% at the end of 2021, Freddie Mac data show.
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