The spring and summer housing market data has for the most part been coming in strong, prompting talk of a snapback after a bleak winter.
But, this past week we got a data point that prompted Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics to write: “Housing finally falters.”
Construction spending climbed just 0.1% in May.
A breakdown showed that private residential construction was down 1.5% on the month, albeit up 7.5% on the year.
“The details show new housing construction, ex-home improvement, fell 1.2% in May, the first outright decline since Sep 11,” he wrote. “New housing construction has been running ahead of the pace implied by new home sales so we have been waiting for this decline for some time.”
This comes with continued weakness in mortgage demand.
While there appears to be enough evidence of a snap back to allay Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s concerns about the housing market posing a risk to the U.S. economic recovery, this construction report — which some economists warn can be very volatile from month-to-month — does put a bit of a dampener on all the enthusiasm.
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