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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales and Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  April 24, 2018

Sales of new single-family homes during March increased 4.0% (8.8% y/y) to 694,000 (SAAR) following a 3.6% February gain to 667,000, revised from 618,000. Expectations had been for 620,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Despite the recently strong increases, sales remained slightly below the expansion peak of 711,000 reached in November.

The median price of a new home improved 3.5% (4.8% y/y) to $337,200 from $325,800, revised from $326,800. It was the highest price in three months. The average price of a new home eased 0.2% (-3.8% y/y) to $369,900.

Changes in new home sales were mixed last month across the country. In the Northeast, sales declined by more than one-half m/m (-52.5% y/y) to 19,000 reflecting adverse weather conditions. Sales in the Midwest declined 2.4% both m/m and y/y to 82,000 after a 1.2% m/m rise. Offsetting these declines, sales in the West jumped 28.3% (24.7% y/y) to 222,000, a roughly twelve year-high. Sales in the South inched 0.8% higher (10.4% y/y) following an 11.9% decline.

The months' supply of homes on the market declined m/m to 5.2 and has been moving irregularly sideways since 2012. The median number of months a new home was on the market remained low at 3.8, up slightly during the last nine months.

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) Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 694 667 644 8.8 617 561 503
  Northeast 19 42 35 -52.5 39 32 25
  Midwest 82 84 83 -2.4 72 69 61
  South 371 368 329 10.4 341 317 286
  West 222 173 197 24.7 165 142 130
Median Price (NSA, $) 337,200 325,800 325,900 4.8 321,367 306,500 293,733
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