Existing home sales increased 7.8% in August while housing starts rose 2.3% and building permits declined 1.0%. Initial jobless claims declined 3,000 to 382,000 for the week ended 9/15.
• Existing home sales rose more than expected in August, with a 7.8% increase to an annual pace of 4.82 million units. Sales were up 9.3% from a year ago while the median home price of $187,400 was up 9.5% from a year ago. Distressed homes accounted for 22% of August sales (down from 24% in July and 31% a year ago).
• Housing starts increased less than anticipated, with a 2.3% rise to an annual pace of 750,000 in August.
• Building permits edged down 1.0% to an annual pace of 803,000 units in August.
• Initial jobless claims declined 3,000 to a level of 382,000 for the week ended September 15th.