Sales of new homes fall 6.6% in June

Monday, July 26, 2021 | Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer


A real estate sign is posted in front of a newly constructed single family home, Thursday, June 24, 2021 in Auburn, N.H. U.S. home prices soared in April at the fastest pace since 2005 as Americans bid up prices on a limited supply of available properties. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes fell for a third straight month in June, dropping by 6.6% to the lowest level in more than a year.

The June sales decline left sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000, the Commerce Department reported Monday. That followed a 7.7% sales decline in May and a 10.1% fall in April.

The pace last month was down 19.4% from a year ago and the slowest since April 2020. Housing has been a stand-out performer since the economy began emerging from the steep-but-short pandemic recession in April last year.

The median price of a new home sold in June was $361,800, up 6.1% from a year ago. but down 5% from May, suggesting the surge in prices may be slowing a bit as builders increase inventories. The number of new homes for sale at the end of June increased to 353,000, up 7% from May.

A shortage of homes on the market and rising costs for material such as lumber and also higher labor costs had fueled a sharp jump in prices. But analysts said the trend for sales and price gains has clearly slowed from the red-hot pace seen over the past year as the economy emerged from the pandemic.

Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, noted that new home sales averaged 728,000 at an annual rate in the April-June quarter, down sharply from a monthly average of 926,000 in the fourth quarter of last year.

“The trend has clearly slowed,” she said. “Prices remain above pre-recession levels and are likely a factor weighing on demand for new homes.”

By region of the country, sales of new homes rose 5.7% in the Midwest in June but declined in the other three regions. Sales fell 27.9% in the Northeast and were down 7.8% in the South and 5.1% in the West.

The report on new homes followed news last week that sales of existing homes rose 1.4% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million units with the median price of an existing home hitting a record high of $363,300, up 23.4% from a year ago.

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This story has been updated to correct the month in which the median price of a new home was $361,800. It was June, not May.


7 Tech Stocks That Are Heating Up as Anti-Trust Talk Cools Down

For the better part of the last year, Congress has had “big tech” in its crosshairs. But the reasons why largely depend on what side of the aisle a particular individual was on.

On the one hand, there are politicians who are concerned about the role that technology companies play in restricting the free flow of information. On the other hand, there are politicians that are concerned about these companies' stranglehold on competitors and innovation.

But big tech scored an important, albeit not final, victory in late June. At that time, a U.S. judge dismissed two separate complaints against Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The question in front of the judge was whether Facebook held a monopoly on social media. Due to a surge in the company’s stock price after the ruling, Facebook became a member of the exclusive $1 trillion market cap club. While big tech companies will remain under the Congressional microscope, there’s no denying that investors are looking at the ruling as a signal to rotate back into tech stocks. And that’s the focus of this presentation. What tech stocks should you be buying as anti-trust pressure eases?

It would be easy to start and end the list with the FAANG stocks. After all, the motto “Keep it Simple Stupid” comes to mind. There are simply those companies that offer products that are changing our lives now and will continue to do so in the future. And furthermore, customers will continue to pay for their products.

And I do have a couple of these stocks on my list. But the bulk of the stocks on this list are less expensive alternatives to at least one of the FAANG stocks. It doesn’t mean they’re superior companies, but a rising tide tends to lift all boats. And that means these companies have a large upside and you can purchase the stocks for a lot less.

View the "7 Tech Stocks That Are Heating Up as Anti-Trust Talk Cools Down".


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