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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Recover; Prices Drop
by Tom Moeller  May 23, 2014

New home sales during April increased 6.4% m/m to 433,000 (AR) from a revised 407,000 in March, initially reported as 384,000. Sales remained 5.7% below the peak in June of last year. The latest figure beat expectations for 425,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These volume numbers are quoted at seasonally adjusted annual rates.

Sales improvement mostly reflected a 47.4% rise (35.5% y/y) in the Midwest to 84,000, the highest level since late-2007. In the South sales rose 3.1% (-9.6% y/y) to 235,000 and in the West sales were unchanged (-6.1% y/y) at 92,000. In the Northeast sales fell by more than one-quarter m/m to 22,000 (-31.3% y/y), the lowest level since June 2012.

The median price for a new home fell 2.1% to $275,800 (-1.3% y/y) from a downwardly-revised $281,700. The average price of a new home declined 2.0% (-5.0% y/y) to $320,100, the lowest level since August.

The inventory of unsold homes ticked 0.5% higher (19.3%) to the highest level since November 2010. The months' sales supply of new homes slipped to 5.3 while the length of time to sell a new home held steady m/m at 3.4 months, down from 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 Apr Mar Feb Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total SAAR, 000s 433 407 437 -4.2 430 368 306
Northeast 22 30 24 -31.3 31 29 21
Midwest 84 57 57 35.5 61 47 45
South 235 228 261 -9.6 233 196 168
West 92 92 95 -6.1 106 97 72
Median Price (NSA, $) 275,800 281,700 264,500 -1.3 265,092 242,108 224,317
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