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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Nudge Higher From Their Record Low
by Tom Moeller July 26, 2010

Any real improvement in housing has yet to show itself. The Census Department indicated that new home sales last month rose 23.6% from May to 330,000. However, the rise followed a sharper May decline following the end to the Federal government's $8,000 home-buyer tax credit. Moreover, sales levels during May & April were revised lower and June was the series' second lowest since the tally began in 1963. The latest level roughly matched Consensus expectations for 315,000 sales.

Along with the decline in sales last month came a lower median home price. The 1.4% m/m decline to $213,400 followed May's strengthened 5.1% increase but it still left prices below those of earlier this year. The average price of a new home also fell sharply to $242,900 (-11.6% y/y), the lowest since 2003.

At the current sales rate, the months' supply of unsold homes fell to 7.6 from from an upwardly revised 9.6 in May. The latest remained well below the 2009 high of 12.1 months. It took a somewhat reduced 12.4 months to sell a new home.

The data in this report are available in Haver's USECON database

US New Homes June May April Y/Y 2009 2008 2007
Total Sales (SAAR, 000s) 330 267 422 -16.7% 372 481 769
Northeast 41 28 36 17.1 32 35 64
Midwest 47 39 60 -20.3 54 69 118
South 185 139 217 -6.1 201 264 409
West 57 61 109 -45.7 87 113 178
Median Price (NSA, $) 213,400 216,400 205,900 -0.6% 214,500 230,408 243,742
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