It was a relatively short week for economic data due to Thanksgiving, causing many to end the week on Wednesday afternoon, but some interesting housing numbers were worthy of mention.
Existing home sales rose in October by +2.1%, which was a surprise relative to the expected lower by -0.1% result. The gain was the result of gains in both single-family and condo sales. Housing starts in October also gained, in line with other housing numbers—up +3.6% which countered expectations of a -3.7% decline. Multi-family housing continued to be the big winner on the month, while single-family starts were generally flat. Whether there was an impact from Hurricane Sandy on the results isn’t yet clear in the preliminary data, but any adjustments should become more apparent in coming months. Housing permits, on the other hand, fell -2.7%, which was a few tenths of a percent better than forecast.
The NAHB index of home-builder sentiment rose to 46 for November, which represented a gain from October and higher resulted than the 41 level forecast. The levels of current sales and expected future sales both rose, which led to the bullish result. As a leading indicator of activity, this is certainly a plus. Read more