In July 2013, all three measures improved: construction starts and existing home sales rose, while the delinquency + foreclosure rate notched downward:
- Construction starts increased but still have a long way to go. Starts were at an 896,000 seasonally adjusted annualized rate – up 6% from June but slightly below the average rate from the first six months of 2013. Year to date, single-family and multi-family starts rose 20% and 33%, respectively, above last year’s levels. Construction starts are 41% of the way back to normal.
- Existing home sales leapt to their second-highest level in six years. Sales jumped in July to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.39 million – that’s up 17% year-over-year, and up 31% year-over-year when excluding foreclosures and short sales are excluded. For the sixth straight month, inventory expanded, even after taking seasonality into account. Overall, existing home sales are 94% back to normal.
- The delinquency + foreclosure rate continued its retreat. The share of mortgages in delinquency or foreclosure dropped to 9.23% in July, the second-lowest level in almost 5 years. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is 56% back to normal.