Ahead of the Bell: US existing-home sales

FILE - This Wednesday, May 18, 2016, file photo shows a "Sold" sign in front of a house in Walpole, Mass. On Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, the National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in July. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Realtors reports on July sales of existing homes Wednesday at 10 a.m. Eastern.

SALES DIP: Economists expect that sales fell 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.51 million, according to a survey by the data firm FactSet. That would be a pullback from June's 1.1 gain percent gain to a rate of 5.57 million, the highest level since February 2007.

LIMITED SUPPLIES: Fewer existing homes are coming onto the market this year, creating a potential ceiling for sales growth as homebuilders struggle to keep up with demand for new homes. The number of listings has fallen 5.8 percent from a year ago to 2.12 million.

Low mortgage and unemployment rates are bringing even more would-be buyers into the market, which could drive home prices, already on the rise, out of reach for many of them.

The median home sales price for existing homes reached $247,700 in June, up 4.8 percent from a year ago. The increase was roughly double the pace of average hourly wage gains. That has created more financial headwinds for Americans still rebuilding equity lost after the housing bubble almost a decade ago.

Builders are attempting get more homes on the market. Sales of new homes climbed 12.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 654,000 annual units, the strongest level since October 2007, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Yet demand has eclipsed even that surge. Just 4.3 months' supply of new homes is available on the market, down from 5.2 months a year ago.

One thing that would-be buyers have in their favor, in addition to the improved landscape for jobs, is those near record-low mortgage rates.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.43 percent last week from 3.98 percent a year ago. The average rate has historically been closer to six percent.

Must Read

Global travel spending still growing but at a...

Aug 22, 2016

Global travel spending is still growing, although at a slower pace, despite weakening economies and...

US home sales fell in July amid inventory shortage

Aug 24, 2016

US sales of existing homes down 3.2 percent in July amid fewer listings, higher prices

The hidden risk to the economy in corporate...

Aug 24, 2016

America has a debt problem, and the big borrower this time may surprise you: Corporate America

Yellen suggests rate hike is coming but offers no...

Aug 26, 2016

Yellen says 'the case for an increase' in rates has strengthened but offers no timetable

Europe hits Apple with a $15 billion-plus tax bill

Aug 30, 2016

The European Union has ordered Apple to pay nearly $15 billion in back taxes to Ireland, plus...

Sign up now!

About Us

In The Headline sought to bring professionalism back into journalism, bringing you only the most exclusive and the most impactive news from all over the globe.

Contact us: sales[at]intheheadline.com