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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Rebound Along With Prices
by Tom Moeller  August 25, 2015

New home sales during July increased 5.4% to 507,000 (SAAR) following a 7.7% June decline to a little-revised 481,000. The rebound left sales in the middle of the range maintained since late-last year. Sales of 510,000 were expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price for a new single-family home improved 3.0% to $285,900, but that was only the second monthly rise in the last eight. The y/y gain of 2.0% was down from rates closer to 10.0% from 2012-to-2014. The average price of a new single-family home increased 13.1% to $361,600, up 4.8% y/y.

Sales increased m/m in three of the four regions of the country. Sales in the Northeast rose by nearly one-quarter (39.1% y/y) to 32,000, the highest level since May of last year. In the West, sales posted a 6.7% rise (37.5% y/y) to 127,000, but remained well below the 145,000 peak reached in January. Sales in the South gained 5.8% and were up by one-quarter y/y. Last month's sales level of 294,000 remained in the middle of this year's range. In the Midwest, new home sales declined 6.9% to 54,000, down for the third straight month and unchanged y/y.

The number of new homes for sale increased 1.9% (6.9% y/y) to 218,000, the most since early-2010. The median number of months-for-sale eased to 3.6, near the middle of the range during the last two years. That was down from 14 months late in 2009. The months supply at the current sales rate was 5.2, up just slightly from the 2013 monthly low of 3.0 months.

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.

Residual Seasonality and Monetary Policy from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total 507 481 521 22.9 439 429 369
  Northeast 32 26 25 50.0 28 30 28
  Midwest 54 58 60 0.0 60 62 48
  South 294 278 295 25.0 244 232 194
  West 127 119 141 37.5 108 106 97
Median Price (NSA, $) 285,900 277,500 283,900 2.0 283,775 265,092 242,108
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