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Economy in Brief

U.S. New-Home Sales Dipped in June, Decline Stabilizing?
by Tom Moeller July 25, 2008

Sales new single-family homes in June dipped 0.6% to 530,000. The fall added to a 1.7% drop during May that was a much shallower decline than initially reported. The level of sales in June was down 61.8% from the July 2005 peak. Nevertheless, the latest level of sales beat expectations for 503,000.

By region sales in the South fell 2.0% and they are down 12.5% since December. In the West sales dipped 0.9% and that resulted in a 15.6% drop so far this year. Though sales in the Northeast recovered the May decline with a 5.3% gain, they remained down 28.6% since December. In the Midwest June sales rose 2.5%. So far this year this has been the star performing region as sales posted a 12.2% increase.

The median price for a new single-family home increased 1.4% to $230,900 after a 6.5% decline during May which was a deeper drop than reported initially.

The number of new homes for sale fell 5.3% (-21.5% y/y) and reduced the inventory of unsold homes to the lowest level since December of 2004. The decline in the number of unsold homes has been greatest in the West (-23.9% y/y) but declines of similar magnitude have been logged elsewhere in the country.

The month's supply of new homes for sale again ticked lower m/m to 10.0 but that remained near the cycle's high.

US New Homes June May Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Total Sales (SAAR, 000s) 530 533 -33.2% 768 1,049 1,279
  Northeast 40 38  -37.5 64 64 81
  Midwest 83 81 -27.2 118 161 203
  South 293 299 -33.4 408 559 638
  West 114 115 -34.9 178 266 356
Median Price (NSA, $) 230,900 227,700 -2.0 243,742 243,067 234,208
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