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Economy in Brief

New Home Prices Down, Sales Up
by Tom Moeller October 26, 2006

The median sales price of a new single family home fell 9.3% to $217,000 during September. Though the August level of prices was revised up, the year to year change of -9.7% was the worst since 1970 and it lowered prices below the average level of 2004.

Sales of new single family homes sales rose 5.3% during September to 1.075M and exceeded expectations for a gain to 1.040M. Sales in August were revised down moderately.

New home sales during the first nine months of this year are down 15.6% from the first nine months of 2005 and in September were 21.4% below the monthly peak during July 2005.

Sales rose m/m only in the West (-13.6% y/y) and in the South (-7.9% y/y). In the Northeast sales reversed nearly all of the prior month's jump (-6.6% y/y) and in the Midwest sales also fell hard (-36.6% y/y.

The number of new homes for sale edged fell for the second month (+14.4% y/y). The year to year breakdown by region is as follows: Northeast, 11.1%; West, 17.8%; South, 18.2%; Midwest, -1.0%.

U.S. New Homes September August Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Sales (AR, 000's) 1,075 1,021 -14.2% 1,280 1,201 1,091
Median Price (NSA) $217,100 $239,300 -9.7% $234,208 $217,817 $191,383
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