US new home sales fell sharply in August, following a strong July

August saw a 7.6 percent decline in new home sales, on the tail of July’s 13.8 percent rise

Overall, house sales in July and August were an improvement on last year in the US 

In the US, newly constructed single-family home sales fell by 7.6 percent in August, on a month-on-month basis. The estimate, released jointly by the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, showed that the sale of new single-family homes had fallen to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 609,000 for August.

Despite the steep fall, owing to a strong July, the data is still generally positive

The August figures come on the heels of July’s strong gains. July’s new home sales figures were recently revised upwards by 5,000, giving a month-on-month growth rate of 13.8 percent. The revised figures meant that July had a seasonally adjusted rate of 659,000 – the highest since 2007. The month-on-month decline from July to August was the sharpest fall since September 2015.

However, despite the steep fall, owing to a strong July, the data is still generally positive. August’s annualised rate of 609,000 was higher than many had expected. The Wall Street Journal’s Econoday August prediction stood at 598,000, while economists polled by Reuters expected an annualised rate of 600,000. The latest August figures were also a major gain on figures for August 2015, which had an estimated annualised rate of 505,000.

With a national decline of 7.6 percent, the data was divided geographically. The north-east region saw the sharpest fall, with a month-on-month decline of 34.3 percent in August, a steep fall from its June to July growth of 34.6 percent. The mid-west and south respectively saw declines of 2.4 percent and 12.3 percent in August, following strong month-on-month growth in July. Bucking the national trend, the west saw solid gains in August, with an eight percent increase in sales.