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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales and Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  March 14, 2019

New home sales fell 6.9% to 607,000 during January following a December increase to 652,000, revised from 621,000. It was the lowest level of sales in three months. January sales of 623,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The government shutdown delayed this report by roughly five weeks and the February figures will be available on March 29. These sales transactions are recorded when sales contracts are signed or deposits are made.

The median price of a new home slipped 0.6% (-3.8% y/y) in January to $317,200. The average price of a new home eased 0.2% (-1.2% y/y to $373,100.

By region, sales patterns were mixed. Purchases in the Northeast declined to 31,000 (-11.4% y/y) from 35,000 in December, while sales in the South fell to 342,000 (+6.2% y/y) from 403,000. New home sales in the Midwest declined to 50,000 (-41.9% y/y) from 70,000 one month earlier, but in the West sales rose to 184,000 (-3.2% y/y) versus 144,000 in December.

The months' supply of homes on the market rose to 6.6 in January. The median number of months a new home was on the market after its completion increased to a still low 3.4 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) Jan Dec Nov Jan Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Total 607 652 628 -4.1 626 616 560
  Northeast 31 35 31 -11.4 33 40 32
  Midwest 50 70 76 -41.9 77 72 69
  South 342 403 376 6.2 354 341 317
  West  184 144 145 -3.2 162 164 142
Median Price (NSA, $) 317,200 319,100 306,500 -3.8 322,075 321,633 306,500
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