Last week's most positive note came with Pending Sales of Existing Homes, UP 2.4% for June. This was especially gratifying coming on the heels of the 8.2% gain for May. These figures bode well for Existing Home Sales a few months out.
New Home Sales did not fare quite as well. Sales of new single-family homes fell 1% for June, coming in at a very modest 312,000 annual rate. But the months' supply of new homes dropped to 6.3, as inventories declined by 3,000 to their lowest level since 1963. The $235,200 median price was UP 7.2% over last year, while the $269,000 average price registered a 4.8% annual gain. And the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 1% in May, with gains in 16 of the cities.
Bonds were down at the beginning of the week, but picked up after the debt ceiling shenanigans and anemic GDP reading ignited a flight to safety in bonds. With prices heading north, the FNMA 4.0% bond we watch ended the week up .96, at $101.18. Once again, national average mortgage rates changed little for the week, remaining near their lows for the year, in Freddie Mac's weekly survey.