The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.1% in the second quarter. That is the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2014. The economy benefited from strong growth in consumer spending and business investments. It was driven by strong consumer and business sentiments and lower tax rates. For the first half of the year, the value of goods and services produced grew by 2.7% compared to a year ago.
New home sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631,000 units in June, a decrease of 5.3% from the revised May figure. Compared to a year ago, new home sales were up just 2% in June – largely because of weaker sales in the West region. For the same reason, the median sales price for new homes decreased to $302,100 in June, from $315,200 a year ago. Combining sales of new and existing homes, total home sales were down 2% in Q2 from a year ago.
Despite overall weaker home sales, homeownership rate continued to recover. In the second quarter, homeownership rate increased by 0.6 percentage point to 64.3%. The recovery was again the greatest among younger households. Homeownership rate increased by 1.2 percentage points to 36.5% among those under the age of 35, and increased by the same amount to 60% among those between the ages of 35 and 44. Thirty-one states reported higher homeownership rates compared to a year ago.