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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Pull Back With Prices
by Tom Moeller  December 23, 2014

New home sales during November declined 1.6% to 438,000 (-1.6% y/y) from 445,000 in October, initially reported as 458,000. The latest figure matched expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These volume numbers are quoted at seasonally adjusted annual rates.

The median price for a new home declined 3.2% to $280,900 (+1.4% y/y) from $290,100, revised from $305,000. The average price of a new home declined 14.2% to $321,800 (-4.1% y/y) from $375,200, revised from $401,100.

Home sales fell through most the country. Sales in the Northeast declined 12.0% to 22,000 and were off by one-third y/y. Sales in the South fell 6.4% to 233,000 (-4.1% y/y) and sales in the Midwest declined 6.3% to 59,000 (+3.5% y/y). Sales in the West offset these setbacks with a 14.8% rise to 124,000 (10.7% y/y).

The inventory of unsold homes increased 1.4% to 213,000 (15.1% y/y), the highest level since June 2010 and up by nearly half from the 2012 low. The months' sales supply of new homes inched up m/m to 5.8 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 Nov Oct Sep Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total SAAR, 000s 438 445 455 -1.6 430 368 306
Northeast 22 25 31 -12.0 31 29 21
Midwest 59 63 58 3.5 61 47 45
South 233 249 252 -4.1 233 196 168
West 124 108 114 10.7 106 97 72
Median Price (NSA, $) 280,900 290,100 263,500 1.4 265,092 242,108 224,317
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