Real Estate News for the week of May 26th, 2014

The Real Estate Report for the week of May 26th, 2014.

New home sales rose 6.4% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 units. March’s initial reading of 384,000 units was revised to 407,000 units. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales were 4.2% lower than April 2013. At the current sales pace, there is a little over a 5 month supply of new homes on the market.

Existing home sales rose 1.3% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million units. Compared to a year ago, April existing home sales were down 6.8%. The inventory of unsold existing homes on the market rose 16.8% to 2.29 million in April, almost a 6 month supply if sales keep up the current pace.

The index of leading economic indicators – designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months – rose 0.4% in April, following a revised 1% increase in March.

Retail sales fell 1.3% for the week ending May 17, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 2.4%.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending May 16 rose 0.9% from the previous week. Purchase volume fell 3%. Refinancing applications increased 4%.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending May 17 rose by 28,000 to 326,000. Continuing claims for the week ending May 10 fell by 13,000 to 2.653 million, a new recovery low. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 322,500.

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