HIGH POINT, N.C. - New residential furniture orders in June 2018 were up 5 percent over June 2017, according to the latest Furniture Insights survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors from Smith Leonard. The 5 percent increase followed a 5 percent increase reported last month and 15 percent reported in April. Both the months of May and June had just around one-half the participants reporting increased orders.

Year to date, new orders were up 6 percent with some 63 percent of the participants reporting increased orders. Shipments were up 2 percent over June 2017 and remained 3 percent up year to date. Backlogs were 7 percent higher than last June, up from a 5 percent increase reported in May, but they did fall slightly from May to June.

Existing-home sales fell again for the fourth straight month in July to the slowest pace in over two years. Total existing-home sales were 1.5% below July a year ago and have fallen on an annual basis for five straight months. Single-family home sales were down 1.2% from last year. The report continued the theme that low inventories continue to drive pricing up. That along with rising interest rates is making would-be buyers postpone their searches until prices ease off.

Meanwhile, new single-family home sales were also off in July versus June 1.7 percent, but were up 12.8 percent compared to July 2017. Sales were up from last year nicely in the Midwest, South and West, but were off significantly in the Northeast.  Housing starts were up in July over June but were 1.7 percent lower than July 2017. See http://www.smith-leonard.com/2018/08/31/august-2018-furniture-insights/

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