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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Rise To Recovery High
by Tom Moeller  June 25, 2013

The housing market continues to improve. New home sales increased 2.1% (29.0% y/y) last month to 476,000 (AR) from a revised 466,000 during April, initially reported as 454,000. The latest level was the highest since July 2008 and outpaced Consensus expectations for sales of 462,000. Sales were mixed m/m throughout the country. New home sales in the Midwest jumped 40.7% (76.6% y/y) to 83,000. Sales in the Northeast rose 20.7% to 35,000; however, sales were unchanged y/y. Sales in the West rose 3.6% (18.6% y/y) to 115,000. To the downside were sales in the South as they posted a 9.0% decline (+27.9% y/y).

The recent strengthening of home  prices hesitated last month. Home prices fell 3.2% (+10.3% y/y) to a median of $263,900 in May. The average price of a new home sold fell 7.1% (+9.6% y/y) to $307,800.

Conditions in the new home market remain tight. The inventory of unsold homes backed up recently but the months supply of new homes was near the old low of 4.1. The length of time to sell a new home rose m/m to 4.4 months. That's up from the December low of 3.2 months. These figures compare to more than 14.0 months at the end of 2009.

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 May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Total (SAAR, 000s) 476 466 451 29.0 366 307 321
    Northeast 35 29 36 0.0 28 21 31
    Midwest 83 59 61 76.6 49 45 45
    South 243 267 242 27.9 195 168 173
    West 115 111 112 18.6 94 72 74
Median Price (NSA, $) 263,900 272,600 255,000 10.3 242,258 224,317 221,242
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