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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Reach 2008 High
by Tom Moeller  September 24, 2015

New home sales during August climbed 5.7% last month to 552,000 units (SAAR) from 522,000 during July, revised from 507,000. It was the highest level of sales since February 2008. Sales of 515,000 were expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price for a new single-family home inched 0.5% higher to $292,700 after an upwardly revised 5.9% July rise. The y/y gain of 0.3% was well below the increases of roughly 10.0% per year from 2012-to-2014. The average price of a new single-family home increased 2.5% to $353,400, down 0.8% y/y.

Sales increased m/m in three of the four regions of the country. Sales in the Northeast rose nearly one-quarter m/m to 36,000, the highest level since May of last year. In the West, sales posted a 5.4% rise (10.0% y/y) to 137,000, but remained well below the 145,000 peak reached in January. Sales in the South gained 7.4% and were up roughly one-third y/y. Last month's sales level of 319,000 was the highest in six months. In the Midwest, new home sales declined 9.1% to 60,000, down for the third month in the last four and unchanged y/y.

The number of new homes for sale increased 0.5% (5.4% y/y) to 216,000, the most since early-2010. The median number of months-for-sale held steady m/m at 3.7 versus 3.1 months one year ago. That was down from 14.0 months late in 2009. The months supply at the current sales rate was 4.7, the lowest in six months and below last year's high of 6.1 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.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total 552 522 466 25.0 439 429 369
  Northeast 36 29 28 0.0 28 30 28
  Midwest 60 66 59 0.0 60 62 48
  South 319 297 263 31.6 244 232 194
  West 137 130 116 10.0 108 106 97
Median Price (NSA, $) 292,700 291,100 274,800 0.3 283,775 265,092 242,108
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