US existing home sales fell 8.5% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million following a strong February, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. The month-over-month decline is the largest since November 2015. "More temporary interruptions to home sales should be expected in the next couple of months, though home prices will still likely rise,"said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Americans are holding back on buying homes as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. Sales of previously owned homes fell 8.5% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million following a strong February, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. It's the largest month-over-month drop since November 2015. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a 5.25 million rate in March. The coronavirus pandemic has hit the housing market during what is typically a busy season, the NAR data suggested. "Unfortunately, we knew home sales would wane in March due to the coronavirus outbreak," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, in a statement. "More temporary interruptions to home sales should be expected in the next couple of months, though home prices will still likely rise." There could be worse to come. Existing home sales are a lagging indicator because they are measured at the point of closing, which is typically one to two months after a contract is signed. In the US, lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 began in mid-March, meaning that the impact of a slowdown is limited in the monthly report. Read more: Investors overseeing $37 billion outline the 5 criteria they seek in trades that are 'almost impossible to compete with' — and share 3 stocks they've been buying amid market mayhem April's report should show a much greater hit, according to Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. "We remain hopeful that many transactions have been deferred rather than canceled - homes usually aren't impulse purchases - but the pool of potential buyers has shrunk as jobs have evaporated," Shepherdson told Business Insider. "Housing is not the hardest-hit part of the economy, but it is being hammered nonetheless, at least for now." Despite the monthly decline, existing home sales increased on the year for the ninth straight month, according to NAR data. In addition, home prices remain strong — the median-existing home price jumped 8% from March 2019, the 97th straight month of gains. Still, existing home sales decreased in every US region in March, led by regions hit earliest by the coronavirus outbreak. Existing home sales in the Northeast declined 7.1% on the month, while sales in the West dropped 13.6% at the same time.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
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US new home sales soared 13.9% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 901,000...US new home sales soared 13.9% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 901,000 units, the highest level since December 2006, according to a Tuesday release from the US Census Bureau. The median sales price jumped 7.2% from the year-ago period to $330,600. Sales spiked by 58.8% in the Midwest and shrank by 23.1% in the Northeast. The nation's housing market has been bolstered in recent months by record-low borrowing costs and strong construction activity. Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories. Sales of new homes in the US soared to their highest level since December 2006 in July as Americans took advantage of historically low interest rates. Single-family home sales leaped 13.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 901,000 units, according to data released by the US Census Bureau on Tuesday. Median sales price gained 7.2% to $330,600 from the year-ago period. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a rate of 790,000 sales. The seasonally adjusted estimate for new houses for sale at the end of the month was 299,000, according to the Census Bureau. That level represents a four-month supply of homes should the sales rate hold steady. Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: The stocks most loved by hedge funds have smashed the market this year. Here are 15 stocks those investors flooded into last quarter. Sales jumped the most in the Midwest, soaring 58.8% to 127,000 units. Home sales shrank in the Northeast by 23.1% to 40,000 units. The summer sales boom was largely fueled by low borrowing costs and a lack of listings for existing homes. Mortgage rates sank through July before hitting record lows in early August. Surging homebuilding activity further fueled the spree, but July's rate is likely unsustainable and could cave to a weakened economic backdrop, Oxford Economics said in a note. Read more: BlackRock unpacks the 4 biggest changes it has made to portfolios since the crisis began 6 months ago — and shares how it's positioning to thrive in a post-COVID world "While strong demand and lower mortgage rates are supportive of further growth in sales, the slow recovery and weak labor market pose downside risks," the firm said. The better-than-expected data follows a similarly positive report on existing home sales. Sales of previously owned homes spiked a record 24.7% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.86 million last month, according to a Friday release from the National Association of Realtors. Economists anticipated a 5.41 million rate. Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider: US investing champion David Ryan famously garnered a compounded return of 1,379% in just 3 years. Here is the 11-part criteria he uses to find the next big winner. Jack Ma's Ant Group files for IPO, which could reportedly be the biggest ever Dow Jones industrial average ditches Exxon, adds tech names in biggest overhaul since 2013Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Leslie Odom, Jr.'s $500,000 gamble that led to a starring role in 'Hamilton'
US stocks climbed on Monday as investors continued to bet on economic reopenings despite soaring coronavirus...US stocks climbed on Monday as investors continued to bet on economic reopenings despite soaring coronavirus case counts. Pending home sales rocketed 44.3% in May, besting expectations and pointing to a swift rebound for the US housing market. Global virus deaths topped 500,000 on Sunday, while confirmed cases tore above 10 million. Boeing led the Dow higher after US regulators approved test flights of its troubled 737 Max jet. Oil gained, with West Texas Intermediate jumping as much as 2.1%, to $39.30 per barrel. Watch major indexes update live here. US equities traded higher on Monday as investors blocked out rising coronavirus case counts and focused on positive housing-market data. Pending home sales shot 44.3% higher in May, the National Association of Realtors announced Monday. The reading trounced the median economist estimate of 19.3%, according to Bloomberg. The association's metric now sits at 99.6, slightly lower than its pre-virus high of 111.4 but hinting at a steady recovery for the critical sector. The leap "goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership," Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said. "This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery." Here's where US indexes stood at 2:25 p.m. ET on Monday: S&P 500: 3,044.18, up 1.1% Dow Jones industrial average: 25,502.17, up 2% (487 points) Nasdaq composite: 25,502.17, up 0.9% Read more: Real-estate investor Joe Fairless breaks down how he went from 4 single-family rentals to overseeing 7,000 units worth $900 million — and outlines the epiphany that turbocharged his career Global virus deaths passed 500,000 on Sunday, while confirmed cases reached the 10 million mark. Fresh outbreaks in Florida, Texas, and California forced state governments to reverse some reopening measures to curb further damage. The spike in cases has so far not fueled a similar uptick in coronavirus deaths, but experts have said the virus' spread could revive strict lockdowns. Boeing led the Dow higher. The plane manufacturer's shares leaped roughly 7.5% in early trading after US regulators approved test flights of its beleaguered 737 Max model. Gilead stock also soared on Monday after the biotech company priced a five-day course of remdesivir, its experimental COVID-19 treatment, at $2,340. The company also nixed country-by-country price negotiations to further expand remdesivir's market. Read more: We spoke with 3 financial experts, who said to make 4 these trades right now to get ahead of surprising gains when earnings season starts next month "As the world continues to reel from the human, social and economic impact of this pandemic, we believe that pricing remdesivir well below value is the right and responsible thing to do," Gilead's CEO and chairman, Daniel O'Day, said in a statement. Facebook stock plummeted for the second straight session as more companies announced boycotts of the social-media giant. Several firms have recently turned away from advertising on social media to push platforms to take a stronger stance against hate speech. Oil climbed slightly higher. West Texas Intermediate jumped as much as 2.1%, to $39.30 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international standard, gained 1.4%, to $41.58, at intraday highs. Read more: Jefferies says buy these 14 cheap stocks that are financially strong and positioned for market-beating returns The upswing followed a massive fall to cap last week's session. Major indexes plummeted more than 2% on Friday as the governors of Texas and Florida reversed some of the states' reopening measures and warned of new virus hot spots. Bank stocks slumped after the Federal Reserve announced it would limit stock buybacks and dividends to boost emergency reserves. In an online conference on Friday, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said that though the worst of the coronavirus pandemic may be over, the global economy's recovery would be "sequential and restrained." Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider: A market-crash expert known as 'Dr. Doom' warns a 10-year depression is coming — and says investors are far too confident about a possible recovery Dave Portnoy says the day-trading revolution will slow down once sports return and people go back to work, but gambling analysts aren't so sure Warren Buffett has warned about the dangers of speculating for years. Day traders aren't listening.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence
The average rate for the standard 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.15% on Thursday, according to...The average rate for the standard 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.15% on Thursday, according to Freddie Mac. It's a record low for the US mortgage rate. It's also the third time that US mortgage rates have hit a record low since March — rates fell to previous records of 3.23% in April and 3.29% in March. The low rates could help the housing market recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more on Business Insider. US mortgage rates have again slumped to a new record low for the third time since March, when the coronavirus pandemic began to whiplash global markets. The average rate for the standard 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.15% on Thursday, according to Freddie Mac. It's the lowest rate seen since the survey began in 1971. The measure also hit previous records of 3.23% in April and 3.29% in March. The coronavirus pandemic began to roil global markets in March, sending investors fleeing from stocks and piling into safer assets such as bonds and gold. Mortgage rates began to slip as they take cues from long-term US Treasury bond yields, which reached record lows in March. Mortgage rates have stayed at record lows since as the Federal Reserve is holding its benchmark interest rate near zero as part of its efforts to boost the US economy from the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the central bank is buying mortgage bonds as a part of its stimulus measures, which has helped keep loans cheap for consumers. Read more: A part-time real-estate investor quit his traditional job 5 years after snagging his first deal. He shares his no-hassle strategy that's allowed him to travel the world with his 6 kids. The low rates will likely help the housing market rebound. In April, pending home sales fell to the lowest level since 2001, but there are signs that demand is returning even as unemployment remains elevated. Last week, applications to purchase a home jumped again for the sixth week in a row, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Wednesday report. The MBA's index is up 54% from early April and now at its highest level since January. "The housing market is continuing its path to recovery as various states reopen, leading to more buyers resuming their home search," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak