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Economy in Brief

New Home Sales Up, Revisions & Prices Down
by Tom Moeller September 27, 2006

Sales of new single family home sales improved 4.1% last month to 1.05M, matched expectations and recovered more than half of July's decline. But that month's sales level was revised down to 1.009 from 1.072M estimated initially.

New home sales during the first eight months of this year are down 15.2% from the first eight months of 2005 and in August were 23.2% below the monthly peak during July 2005.

Sales rose last month across the country except in the West where they fell 17.7% (-34.7% y/y). Sales in the South rose 11.1% (-10.2% y/y) and in the Northeast sales jumped 21.7% (+5.0% y/y). In the Midwest sales rose 12.2% (-19.6% y/y.

The median sales price of a new single family home rose 0.3% to $237,000 and prior month's figures were revised up, but the year to year comparison turned negative (-1.3%) for the first time since December 2003.

The number of new homes for sale edged down 0.4% m/m in August but rose 19.1% y/y. The year to year breakdown by region is as follows: Northeast, 19.0%; West, 31.5%; South, 24.4%; Midwest, -1.0%.

Recent Trends in Homeownership from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis can be found here.

U.S. New Homes August July Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Sales (AR, 000's) 1,050 1,009 -17.4% 1,280 1,201 1,091
Median Price (NSA) $237,000 $236,200 -1.3% $234,208 $217,817 $191,383
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