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Economy in Brief

New Home Sales Fell, Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller November 29, 2006

Sales of new single family homes fell 3.7% to 1.004M during October and reversed all of a downwardly revised gain the prior month. The decline exceeded expectations for stability near 1.050M.

Moving in the other direction, the median sales price of a new single family home jumped 13.9% to $249,500 and more than reversed the prior month's decline.

New home sales during the first ten months of this year are down 17.2% from the first ten months of 2005.

Sales rose m/m only (slightly) in the West (-35.5% y/y). In the Northeast sales fell by 39.0% (-52.6% y/y) to the lowest level since 1995. In the Midwest sales fell as well (-26.5% y/y and down South sales fell moderately m/m (-15.4% y/y).

The number of new homes for sale fell for the third consecutive month (+13.9% y/y). The year to year breakdown by region is as follows: Northeast, 22.7%; West, 19.2%; South, 18.6%; Midwest, -2.8%.

U.S. New Homes October September Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Sales (AR, 000's) 1,004 1,037 -25.4% 1,280 1,201 1,091
Median Price (NSA) $248,500 $218,200 1.9% $234,208 $217,817 $191,383
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