September 24, 2013
The Census Department’s report of a sharp 13.4 percent drop in new home sales in July provided a clear indication that higher interest rates were having a substantial effect. (New homes sales measure contracts signed in the month, not completed sales.) There is a similar story in housing starts. After rising sharply in 2012, starts peaked in March and have been pretty much flat in subsequent months. Residential construction may still contribute to growth in the second half of 2013 and 2014, but its impact is likely to be considerably less than in 2012 and the first half of this year.
For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.