Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Look Ahead: Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 6/20/2012 10:42:00 PM

Existing home sales for May is the key economic release on Thursday. And somewhat related, here is an interesting article on construction in Phoenix, from Bloomberg: Arizona’s Homebuilding Revival Sparks Bidding Wars for Workers (ht Brian)

After being decimated by the housing crash, Arizona’s builders are now scrounging for workers as demand for new homes climbs. Building permits are at an almost three-year high, creating a scarcity of framers, roofers and masons, many of whom moved elsewhere when work dried up. ...

Construction jobs, which also include commercial and government projects, increased 9.3 percent in May from a year earlier to 120,300, the biggest gain of any industry in the state, according to Arizona’s Office of Employment and Population Statistics. ...

“The industry is so wound down that it’s hard to flip the switch on and build as many homes as there is demand right now,” said Ben Sage, director of the Arizona region for Metrostudy, a Houston-based firm that tracks new construction. “The subcontractors are scrambling for workers.”
On Thursday:

• At 8:30 AM ET, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to decline to 383 thousand from 386 thousand last week.

• At 9:00 AM, the Markit US PMI Manufacturing Index Flash will be released. This is a new release and might provide hints about the ISM PMI for June. The consensus is for a reading of 53.8, down slightly from 53.9 in May.

• At 10:00 AM, the NAR is scheduled to release existing home sales for May. The consensus is for sales of 4.57 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Housing economist Tom Lawler is forecasting the NAR will report sales of 4.66 million in May.

• Also at 10:00 AM, the Philly Fed manufacturing survey for June (consensus 0.5), the FHFA house price index for April, and the Conference Board Leading Indicators for May (consensus no change) will be released.