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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Disappoint in July But Large Upward Revision to June
by Sandy Batten  August 23, 2019

New home sales declined 12.8% m/m (+4.3% y/y) in July to 635,000 (SAAR) from 728,000 in June, a massive upward revision from the initially reported 646,000. Sales in May were revised down slightly to 602,000 from 604,000. Sales of 640,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Despite the latest decline, new home sales remained 14.0% higher than the recent low in October. These sales transactions are recorded when sales contracts are signed or deposits are made.

The median price of a new home increased 2.2% m/m (-4.5% y/y) to $312,800 last month. The rise more-than reversed the prior month's decline to $306,000, revised from $310,400. Prices remained 8.9% below the record high of $343,400 in November 2017. The average price of a new home jumped up 9.5% m/m (-1.1% y/y) to $388,000.

Sales were generally down across the regions of the country in July. New home sales in the Northeast jumped up 50% m/m (56% y/y). In contrast, monthly sales fell in the other three regions. Sales declined 11.1% m/m (-18.8% y/y) in the Midwest; declined 16.1% m/m (+3.2% y/y) in the South, and fell 14.2% m/m (+8.4% y/y) in the West

The months' supply of homes on the market rebounded to 6.4 in July from a 15-month low of 5.5 in June but remained well below the recent high of 7.4 months reached last December. The median number of months a new home was on the market after its completion eased to 3.4 months but was still above the recent low of 2.7 months in last October.

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.

"Challenges for Monetary Policy" from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell is available here.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) July June May July Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Total 635 728 602 4.3 615 617 562
  Northeast 39 26 23 56.0 32 40 32
  Midwest 56 63 70 -18.8 75 72 69
  South 359 428 379 3.2 348 341 318
  West  181 211 130 8.4 160 164 142
Median Price (NSA, $) 312,800 306,000 311,000 -4.5 323,125 321,633 306,500
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