Sales of newly-built homes declined in July, as did the sales of existing homes. See the graph below from Calculated Risk:
The gap started to widen starting in 2006 (around the time the housing bubble burst), and continues to widen. The gap will close if:
- Newly built homes start to sell faster.
- Existing homes stop selling.
We obviously don’t want #2, and in fact, would even want the gap to widen if it mean that existing homes sell a little less. We need to move the inventory of newly-built homes.
In other bad news, orders for durable goods, another indicator of the economy’s well-being rose slightly, but if we exclude transportation orders it fell by a whopping (annualized) 3.8% from June to July.
Orders for durable goods, products such as autos and appliances designed to last three years or more, rose 0.3% in July from June, largely due to aircraft orders, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders tumbled 3.8%. [link]
*Sigh*. As we progress through the year, the possibility of a double-dip is looming.