Recent news points to further improvements in housing… New Home Sales up 3.6% in July to a two-year high, Existing home sales rebound from June to 4.47 million units at annual rates, and Permits for new construction jump 6.8% despite 1.1% drop in starts. Consumer and builder sentiment reports also positive as preliminary University of Michigan report rose to 73.6 and National Association of Home Builders survey rose to 37 from 35 in June. Overall economy continues to see slow growth with initial unemployment claims four week moving average at 368,000.
Home prices also responding; the Federal Housing Finance Agency price index covering only homes with conforming mortgages rose 0.7% in June. Next week will the June S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price report on Tuesday morning at 9 AM. Last months numbers show prices rising month to month in all 20 cities but eight cities still were down from May 2011.