Economic data was plentiful today - first up was a reading on the rise in home prices across the nation. The Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index saw its largest monthly gain on record rising by 2.5% from March to April. Since April of 2012, prices rose by 12.1%, the fastest annual pace since 2006. San Francisco had the highest year-over-year gain of nearly 24%, New York was the lowest at 3.2%. The data is from April and it remains to be seen if price appreciation can continue as home loan rates have risen to the mid-4s.
The good news for housing continued this morning as the Commerce Department reported that New Home Sales rose by 2.1% in May from April to 476,000 units, the highest level since July of 2008. The 476,000 was above the expectation of 460,000. Since last year this time, sales are up nearly 29%. The recovery is largely due to low home loan rates, which have increased in the past month.
The Conference Board reported this morning that its Consumer Confidence Index rose in June to 81.4, up from 74.3 in May. The Conference Board said that the index has risen for the third consecutive month and is at its highest level since January of 2008. Consumer Confidence measures how optimistic or pessimistic consumers are with respect to the economy in the near future.