Existing, new home sales headed in opposite directions

On Friday, the Commerce Department released the new residential sales figures for July, and the numbers illustrated a stark contrast to another type of property.

On Friday, new residential sales figures were released for July, and the numbers illustrated a stark contrast to another type of property, although the housing recovery continues to be strong.

Recently a report on existing-homes, from the National Association of Realtors, showed that sales increased in July.

Despite that statistic, new homes are instead declining on a monthly basis, according to the Commerce Department. The two reports offer different - albeit brief - views of the housing market for the month, but in general the trend appears to be positive.

On both a yearly and a monthly level, existing-home sales went up in July, NAR reported. Increasing more than 6 percent from June of this year, the seasonally adjusted annual rate hit 5.39 million. That is also more than 17 percent higher than July 2012's figure. 

The housing recovery is good news for everyone involved, including agents and investors, and Courthouse Retrieval System can provide property data and mortgage records that could help buyers and sellers sustain the segment's growth.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR, mentioned several other factors that should mean continued sales increases.

"Although housing affordability conditions will become less attractive, jobs are being added to the economy, and mortgage underwriting standards should normalize over time from current stringent conditions as default rates fall," said Yun.

New homes lagging behind
On the contrary, new home sales didn't do as well as existing ones did in July. At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000 for the month, that marks a decrease of more than 13 percent from June, according to data from the Commerce Department. 

However, that number is still a yearly increase, nearly 7 percent higher than the July 2012 estimate of 369,000. In addition, the median sales price of new homes sold was $257,200 for the month, and the supply has risen, reaching 5.2 months before the selling pace would clean out the market. 

In total, the statistics are good news for the housing sector, and the recovery appears to be continuing.

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