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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Rebound to 2-1/2-Year High
by Carol Stone  December 27, 2012

New home sales reversed their October decline in November, as they gained 4.4% to a 377,000 annual rate (+15.3% y/y). This was the largest monthly amount since April 2010. The October result was revised to 361,000 from 368,000 reported initially. The November result was close to consensus forecasts of 380,000. Sales in the Northeast and South, which had both fallen in October, rebounded, with those in the Northeast up 12.5% to 27,000 (+68.8% y/y) and those in the South up 21.1% to 218,000 (17.2% y/y). Conversely, new home sales in the Midwest and West also reversed October's performances with declines now following increases; those in the Midwest were down 12.5% to 49,000 (-5.8% y/y) and in the West sales were down 17.8% to 83,000 (+13.8% y/y).

House prices recovered some of their October decline as the median price went up 3.7% in November to $246,200 (+14.7% y/y). The average price gained 10.1% in November $299,700 (+19.9% y/y).

The length of time to sell a new home continued down, reaching 5.3 months in November from a revised 6.1 months in October fell sharply m/m. November's time on the market was the shortest since February 2007. The inventory of unsold homes rose very slightly to 149,000 from October's 147,000 (-3.9% y/y) remained near its all time low. This represents 4.7 months of sales at the current rate, the shortest since the summer of 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
Nov Oct Sep Y/Y % 2011 2010 2009
Total (SAAR, 000s) 377 361 374 15.3 307 321 374
  Northeast 27 24 33 68.8 21 31 31
  Midwest 49 56 37 -5.8 45 45 54
  South 218 180 208 17.2 169 173 202
  West 83 101 96 13.7 72 74 87
Median Price (NSA, $) $246,200 $237,500 $252,100 14.7 $224,317 $221,242 $214,500
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