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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Improve; Prices Jump
by Tom Moeller  November 26, 2014

New home sales during October edged up 0.7% m/m to 458,000 (1.8% y/y) following a 0.4% rise to 455,000 in September, initially reported as 467,000. The latest figure disappointed expectations for 470,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These volume numbers are quoted at seasonally adjusted annual rates.

The median price for a new home surged 16.5% (15.4% y/y) to $305,000 from $261,700 in September, revised from $259,000. The average price of a new home jumped by more-than one quarter to $401,100 (19.5% y/y), revised from $313,200.

Home sales were mixed across the country. Sales in the Midwest jumped 15.8% to 66,000 (-2.9% y/y) while sales in the Northeast gained 7.1% to 30,000 (-6.3% y/y). Sales in the West declined 2.7% to 110,000 (+27.9% y/y) while sales in the South were off 1.9% to 252,000 (-4.5% y/y).

The inventory of unsold homes increased 1.0% to 212,000 (15.2% y/y), the highest level since June 2010 and up 49.3% from the 2012 low. The months' sales supply of new homes inched up m/m to 5.6 months versus last year's low of 3.9 months. The length of time to sell a new home was essentially stable m/m at 3.0 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 from the Action Economics survey is available in the AS1REPNA database.

U.S. New Home Sales Oct Sep Aug Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total SAAR, 000s 458 455 453 1.8 430 368 306
Northeast 30 28 28 -6.3 31 29 21
Midwest 66 57 55 -2.9 61 47 45
South 252 257 247 -4.5 233 196 168
West 110 113 123 27.9 106 97 72
Median Price (NSA, $) 305,000 261,700 287,700 15.4 265,092 242,108 224,317
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