All these articles are looking at the same data:
New U.S. Home Sales Surge in May With Buyers Returning to Market
U.S. home sales hit nine-and-a-half-year low; price growth cools
New home sales surged in May as buyers scrambled to find properties for purchase
Home sales plunged again in May
Fox will tell you whatever you want to hear:
New home sales rise surprisingly strong 16.6% in May
Existing home sales plunge 9.7% in 3rd straight monthly drop
Note that the Census Bureau lists 676,000 new homes sold in May.
The Census Bureau collects new home sales based upon the following definition: "A sale of the new house occurs with the signing of a sales contract or the acceptance of a deposit." The house can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction, or already completed.
I can't tell, but I believe if you sell a vacant piece of land with a building permit for it, it's a "new home sale."
The Census Bureau doesn't track existing home sales. That's left up to the National Association of Realtors - a self-report at best from the industry that wants you to know prices only ever go up, and there is never a bad time to buy a house. What do their numbers look like?
Mortgage delinquencies are at a nine year high.
one in three renters failed to pay in full in June.
There is a moratorium on all FNMA-owned mortgage foreclosures until September.
If you can look at this market and go "yay record home sales" there's some Hertz stock I'd like to sell you.