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Economy in Brief

New Home Sales Finished a Record 2005 Firm, Prices Soft
by Tom Moeller January 27, 2006

December new single-family home sales increased 2.9% to 1.269M after a 9.2% November decline that was less than initially estimated. Consensus expectations had been for a decline to 1.225M. For the year, new home sales set a new record of 1.280M, up 6.7% from 2004.

Sales gains out West, up 11.1% (12.9% y/y), and in the Midwest, up 22.7% (-8.0% y/y), offset declines in the Northeast (0.0% y/y) and in the South (4.0% y/y).

The median price of a new single family home fell 2.2% (-3.4% y/y) to $221,800. For the year, prices rose to an average $231,350 (6.2% Y/Y).

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

Homes Sales (000s, AR) Dec Nov Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
New Single-Family 1,269 1,233 1.8% 1,280 1,200 1,091
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