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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales and Prices Backpedal
by Tom Moeller  November 23, 2016

Sales of new single-family homes during October declined 1.9% (+17.8% y/y) to 563,000 (AR) from 574,000 sales in September, revised from 593,000. Sales of 590,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The decline left sales 9.5% below the July peak.

The median price of a new home fell 3.1% last month (+1.9% y/y) to $304,500 from $314,100 in September, revised from $313,000. The average price of a new home declined 2.5% (-3.3% y/y) to $354,900 following a 1.4% rise.

Last month's decline in new home sales was led by a 13.7% decline (+8.6% y/y) in sales in the Midwest to 63,000. In the Northeast sales fell 9.1% (-6.3% y/y) to 30,000 and new home sales in the South were off 3.0% to 322,000 (+17.9% y/y). To the upside were sales in the West where an 8.8% increase to 148,000 left them 28.7% higher than 12 months earlier.

The months' supply of homes at the current sales rate increased to 5.2, up from July's 4.6 rate. That was below, however, the high of 5.8 months in September of last year. The median number of months a new home was on the market declined to 3.0 (NSA), the lowest level since December.

Longer-Term Challenges for the U.S. Economy is the title of Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer's speech and it can be found here.

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) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 563 574 567 17.8 502 440 430
  Northeast 30 33 24 -6.3 25 28 31
  Midwest 63 73 67 8.6 61 58 61
  South 322 332 333 17.9 287 244 233
  West 148 136 143 28.7 131 110 106
Median Price (NSA, $) 304,500 314,100 299,600 1.9 297,258 283,775 265,092
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