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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales and Prices Improve
by Tom Moeller  December 23, 2015

Sales of new single-family homes increased 4.3% during November to 490,000 from 470,000 in October, revised from 495,000. The gain left sales up 9.1% y/y but down 10.1% since the February high. Sales of 505,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The rise contrasts to yesterday's report of a 10.5% decline in existing single-family home sales.

The median price of a new home increased 6.3% from October and rose 0.8% y/y. The average sales price gained 4.7% m/m, off 4.5% y/y.

Home sales in the West increased 20.5% to 135,000, the highest level since March. Sales in the South also were firm, rising 4.5% to 277,000. In the Northeast, sales declined 28.6% to 25,000. Home sales in the Midwest fell 8.6% to 53,000.

The inventory of unsold homes increased 10.5% y/y and there was 5.7 months supply at the current sales rate. That figure was up from 4.0 months in January 2013. The number of months a new home was for sale remained near the record low at 3.0 months.

The data in this report are available in Haver's USECON database. The consensus expectation figure from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is available in the AS1REPNA database.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y %, SA 2014 2013 2012
Total 490 470 442 9.1 440 430 368
  Northeast 25 35 19 -13.8 28 31 29
  Midwest 53 58 57 -10.2 58 61 47
  South 277 265 258 19.4 244 233 195
  West 135 112 108 4.7 110 106 97
Median Price (NSA, $) 305,000 286,900 310,400 0.8 283,775 265,092 242,108
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