New home sales sink 9.4%
Sales of new single-family homes fell dramatically in July, according to stats released Wednesday morning by the U.S. Census department.
New home sales declined 9.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000. That’s below the upwardly revised June rate of 630,000, and also below the year-ago rate of 627,000. The July figures are the lowest since December of 2016, when the SAAR stood at 548,000.
The disappointing data will do nothing to abet concerns over the speed of the housing market’s recovery. The Census data followed by a few days a residential construction report that showed a decline in new residential construction.
Analysts had expected the new sales figures to fall in the 610,000 range.
[See the government release here.]
As sales declined, the median sale price of new houses sold in July increased to $313,700, that’s up from $311,600 in the prior month. The average sales price for a new home was $371,200, which was also up slightly from the previous month.
The August report for new home sales is slated to be released Sept. 26.
Next Big Thing: Walmart and Uber
The nation's largest retailer continues to beef up its defenses against Amazon.
Walmart is expanding its online grocery delivery pilot via Uber to Orlando and Dallas. The pilot is currently ongoing in Phoenix and Tampa, Fla. (The chain also runs its own grocery delivery service in Denver and San Jose, California.) Walmart announced the expansion just days prior to a scheduled vote by Whole Foods Market's shareholders on its pending acquisition by Amazon.
"We’ve been testing delivery in a number of ways for a while now in key markets across the country," said Mike Turner, VP, eCommerce operations, Walmart, in a blog on the company's website. "In some areas, we’re trying general merchandise deliveries led by associates. In others, we’re testing grocery delivery using Walmart trucks and drivers. We’re working hard to find a way to get you fresh, quality groceries all while keeping a little more time on your calendar.
Under the pilot with Uber, after the customer's order is prepared, an Uber driver comes to the appropriate Walmart store, picks up the order and takes it directly to the customer’s location.
In addition its grocery delivery pilots, Walmart offers customers the ability to pick up online grocery orders at some 900 of its stores.