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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Recover As Prices Fall
by Tom Moeller  August 23, 2012

New home sales rose 3.6% in July to 372,000 from 359,000 during the prior month, revised from 350,000. The increase surpassed Consensus expectations for 360,000. Sales in the Northeast recovered most of a June plunge while sales in the Midwest rose moderately. Sales in the South fell for the third month in the last four and sales in the West slipped.

The median price of a new single family home fell to $224,200 (-2.5% y/y). The 2.1% m/m decline was the fourth drop in five months. The average price fell 1.4% to $263,200 (-2.6% y/y) during July.

The length of time to sell a new home increased sharply m/m to 8.7 months in July. The inventory of unsold homes remained near the all time low at 142,000 units (-13.9% y/y). This is a 4.6-month supply at the current sales rate, the lowest since late-2005.

The data in this report are available in Haver's USECON database. The consensus expectation figure is from the Action Economics survey and is available in the AS1REPNA database. 

Economic Effects of Reducing the Fiscal Restraint That is Scheduled to Occur in 2013 from the Congressional Budget Office is available here.

Consumer Debt and the Economic Recovery from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.


U.S. New Home Sales Jul Jun May Y/Y % 2011 2010 2009
Total (SAAR, 000s) 372 359 372 25.3 307 321 374
Northeast 30 17 38 30.4 21 31 31
Midwest 56 52 48 21.7 45 45 54
South 180 183 189 9.1 169 173 202
West 106 107 97 68.3 72 74 87
Median Price (NSA, $) $224,200 229,100 237,200 -2.5 224,317 221,242 214,500
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