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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Increase As Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  September 26, 2018

New single-family home sales increased 3.5% (12.7% y/y) during August to 629,000 (SAAR) from 608,000 in July, revised from 627,000. June's sales level also was revised lower to 618,000 from 638,000. Sales during August were 11.7% below the high of 712,000 reached in November 2017. Expectations had been for 632,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Sales are calculated when contracts are closed and are tabulated by the National Association of Realtors.

The median price of a new home declined 2.4% to $320,200 (+1.9% y/y) from a little-revised $328,100. The average price of a new home eased slightly to $388,400 (+5.2% y/y).

New home sales moved higher m/m in most of the country. Home sales in the Northeast rebounded 47.8% (-2.9% y/y) to 34,000 after a sharp July decline. New home sales in the West gained 9.1% (19.1%) to 168,000, a five-month high. In the Midwest, sales rose 2.7% in August (13.2% y/y) to 77,000, though they remained 12.5% below the high four months earlier. Working the other way last month were sales in the South. They fell 1.7% (+11.5% y/y) as they reversed July's increase.

The months' supply of homes on the market eased to 6.1, though that remained up from the low of 4.5 months in July 2016. The median number of months a new home was on the market fell to 2.8 and equaled the recovery low.

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) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 629 608 618 12.7 616 560 502
  Northeast 34 23 43 -2.9 40 32 25
  Midwest 77 75 71 13.2 72 69 61
  South 350 356 350 11.5 341 317 286
  West  168 154 154 19.1 164 142 130
Median Price (NSA, $) 320,200 328,100 309,500 1.9 321,633 306,500 293,733
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