Saturday, August 31, 2013
The housing recovery hit a speed bump during the past few months. Single-family housing starts fell 2.2 percent in July and permits were down 1.9 percent. New home sales also showed weakness, plunging 13.4 percent in July. While existing home sales posted a solid 6.5 percent gain in July, pending home sales, which tends to lead existing home sales by about one to two months, fell 1.3 percent on the month. Even purchase applications, which had only shown tepid growth previously, have witnessed a setback, with applications down about 11 percent over the past three months.