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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Slip As Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller  September 26, 2012

The new home sales market cooled off last month.New home sales in August slipped 0.3% to 373,000 from 374,000 during the prior month, revised from 372,000. The slip compared to Consensus expectations for 380,000 sales. The shortfall was led by a 4.9% (+11.5% y/y) decline in the South which was the fourth drop in the last five months. Sales in the West ticked up just 0.9% (64.6% y/y). Elsewhere, sales were stronger with the Northeast posting a 20.0% m/m increase and rising by more than one half y/y while sales in the Midwest rose 1.8% (16.7% y/y).

The median price of a new single family home increased 11.2% to $256,900 (17.0% y/y) while prices in prior months were revised higher. The average price gained to $295,300 (13.9% y/y) during August and was its highest since July 2008.

The length of time to sell a new home slipped m/m to 8.3 months in August. The inventory of unsold homes remained near the all time low at 141,000 units (-12.4% y/y). This is a 4.5 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. 

 

U.S. New Home Sales Aug Jul Jun Y/Y % 2011 2010 2009
Total (SAAR, 000s) 373 374 361 27.7 307 321 374
Northeast 36 30 16 56.5 21 31 31
Midwest 56 55 49 16.7 45 45 54
South 174 183 185 11.5 169 173 202
West 107 106 111 64.6 72 74 87
Median Price (NSA, $) $256,900 $231,100 $231,400 17.0 224,317 221,242 214,500
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