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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Jump to 2008 High
by Tom Moeller  September 24, 2014

New home sales during August surged 18.0% (33.3% y/y) to 504,000 from a revised 427,000 in July, initially reported as 412,000. It was the highest level of sales since May 2008. The increase easily beat expectations for 430,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These volume numbers are quoted at seasonally adjusted annual rates.

The greatest sales strength was logged in the West with a 50.0% m/m jump to 153,000 (84.3% y/y). That was followed by the Northeast where sales increased 29.2% (-3.1% y/y) to 31,000. Sales in the South posted a 7.8% gain (27.2% y/y) to 262,000 while sales in the Midwest were unchanged both y/y and m/m at 58,000.

The median price for a new home declined 1.6% (+8.0% y/y) to $275,600 from $280,100 in July, revised from $269,800. The average price of a new home improved 0.8% (11.9% y/y) to a new peak of $347,900.

The inventory of unsold homes increased 1.0% (16.0%) to 203,000. That was the highest level since August 2010 and up 43.0% from the 2012 low. The months' sales supply of new homes declined to 4.8 months, its lowest level since June of last year. The length of time to sell a new home of 3.3 months was higher than the 2.9 months last August but 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 from the Action Economics survey is available in the AS1REPNA database.

U.S. New Home Sales Aug Jul Jun Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total SAAR, 000s 504 427 419 33.0 430 368 306
Northeast 31 24 26 -3.1 31 29 21
Midwest 58 58 54 0.0 61 47 45
South 262 243 236 27.2 233 196 168
West 153 102 103 84.3 106 97 72
Median Price (NSA, $) 275,600 280,100 283,100 8.0 265,092 242,108 224,317
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