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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales & Prices Increase Unexpectedly
by Tom Moeller  September 25, 2019

Sales of new single-family homes rose 7.1% (18.0% y/y) during August to 713,000 (SAAR) from 666,000 in July, revised from 635,000. Sales of 656,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These sales are recorded when contracts are signed or deposits are made.

The median price of a new home increased 7.5% (2.2% y/y) to $328,400 from $305,400 in July, revised from $312,800. Prices remained 4.4% below the record high of $343,400 in November 2017. The average price of a new home strengthened 8.5% (6.1% y/y) to $404,200.

Sales were mixed m/m across the regions of the country last month. New home sales in the West rebounded 16.5% (17.9% y/y) to 191,000 following a 15.9% decline. In the South, sales recovered 6.0% (24.9% y/y) to 426,000 after a 10.3% fall. Moving lower by 5.9% (0% y/y), were home sales in the Northeast to 32,000 following a 41.7% surge in July. In the Midwest, sales declined 3.0% (-7.2% y/y) to 64,000 after a 6.5% rise.

The months' supply of homes on the market fell slightly to 5.5 and 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 3.2 but remained above the recent low of 2.7 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.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Aug July June Aug Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Total 713 666 729 18.0 615 617 562
  Northeast 32 34 24 0.0 32 40 32
  Midwest 64 66 62 -7.2 75 72 69
  South 426 402 448 24.9 348 341 318
  West  191 164 195 17.9 160 164 142
Median Price (NSA, $) 328,400 305,400 306,300 2.2 323,125 321,633 306,500
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