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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales & Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  February 26, 2018

Sales of new single-family homes fell 7.8% (-1.0% y/y) to 593,000 (SAAR) during January following December's decline to 643,000, revised from 625,000. It was the lowest level of sales since August. Expectations had been for 641,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home declined 4.1% (+2.5% y/y) to $323,000 from $336,700, revised from $335,400. The average price of a new home fell 3.0% (+7.0% y/y) to $382,700.

Changes in new home sales were mixed last month across the country. In the Northeast, sales fell by one-third (-44.2% y/y) to 24,000, the lowest level since September 2015. Sales in the South also weakened 14.2% (-10.9% y/y) to 301,000, the lowest level since February 2016. To the upside, sales in the Midwest rose 15.4% (2.7% y/y) to 75,000, the highest level since March. Sales in the West remained strong, rising 1.0% (33.1% y/y) to 193,000.

The months' supply of homes on the market rose to 6.1, the highest level since July 2014. The median number of months a new home was on the market remained low at 3.3 and has trended sideways since 2013.

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

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Jan Dec Nov Jan Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 593 643 696 -1.0 615 561 503
  Northeast 24 36 41 -44.2 40 32 25
  Midwest 75 65 72 2.7 72 69 61
  South 301 351 376 -10.9 341 317 286
  West 193 191 207 33.1 163 142 130
Median Price (NSA, $) 323,000 336,700 343,000 2.5 321,050 306,500 293,733
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