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Economy in Brief

November New Home Sales Reverse October's Gain
by Tom Moeller December 23, 2005

New single-family home sales in November fell 11.3% to 1.245M and reversed more than all of the prior month's downwardly revised 11.4% increase. Consensus expectations had been for a more moderate decline to 1.31M.

Sales fell across the nation except in the Northeast where a 13.4% (9.4% y/y) gain added to the 41.4% rise in October. In the West sales fell 22.1% (+0.6% y/y) and reversed most of the prior month's increase while sales in the South also reversed the prior month's gain and fell 5.5% (+10.1% y/y). In the Midwest, sales fell hard for the fifth month in the last six and are down 35.3% since the May peak.

The median price of a new single family home fell for the third straight month. The 4.1% m/m decline (0.3% y/y) to $225,200 left the price about even with last November following appreciation of 17.1% from the end of 2003 to the end of 2004.

The figures from the Census Department reflect home sales counted at the time of sales contract or deposit.

Homes Sales (000s, AR) Nov Oct Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
New Single-Family 1,245 1,404 6.0% 1,200 1,091 976
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