According to the Wall Street Journal, May and June of this year was the best two month period for home sale prices during the last 10 years. A S&P/Case Schiller Index showed a 2.3% increase in sales during June alone. Another good sign is increasing home sales activity. Over last year there was a 21% gain in the 3-month average in home sales.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales for June increased from the year before. This is the fourteenth month in a row with a year to year increase. Information from NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index shows 9.5% growth from the previous year.
The CPSC and Energizer have issued a recall for Energizer Rotating Night Lights sold in Target stores. They can overheat and smoke becoming a potential burn hazard. The recall is in effect for approximately 260,000 units sold in the U.S.
July saw more building permits issued than any month since August 2008 according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). New permits increased by 6.8% overall. Single family units rose 4.5% and multifamily units made an 11.2% gain. Multifamily housing also saw a rise in new housing starts with a 12.4% increase, the highest rate since February.
The CPSC, GE and Sears have issued a repair recall for LG Electronics and Kenmore Elite Gas Dryers. The machines can shut off improperly and become a burn, fire and smoke risk. The recall is in effect for 21,000 units sold in the U.S.
For the past four months home builder confidence has risen. According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, home builder confidence has not been this high since February of 2007. Building permits also increased by 6.8%, which makes it the highest level since August of 2008. Many credit continuing low rates for mortgages that have stayed well below 4.0% for both 15 and 30 year fixed rates. Rates are remaining low and steady creating incentives for new buyers to enter the market.
The CPSC and Emerson Air Comfort Products have issued a recall for Emerson Corsair Ceiling Fans. A bracket on the fan can break loose and potentially fall from the ceiling. The recall is in effect for approximately 870 units sold in the U.S.
It’s not just the housing market that’s growing. Another important part of the economy, the retail sector, is also making gains. July saw a 0.8% climb in retail with improvement in all 13 categories taken into account by the Commerce Department. This is the first time across the board gains have been seen since 2005. Notable jumps were made in clothing stores (0.8%), general merchandise stores (0.7%), and health and personal care sales (1.1%).
The CPSC and GE have issued a recall for several dishwasher models. The units’ heating element can fail and become a fire hazard. The recall is in effect for approximately 1.3 million units sold in the U.S.
The continuing rise of building permit issuance is good news for the U.S. housing sector. A Census Bureau report for July revealed the highest numbers in four years. July saw a 6.8% rise in permits, an annual rate of 812,000 for the month. From July of 2011 permits issued were up 29.5%.