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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Jump to 2007 High; Prices Reach Record
by Tom Moeller  February 26, 2020

Sales of new single-family homes increased 7.9% (18.6% y/y) during January to 764,000 units (SAAR), the highest level since July 2007. Sales increased from 708,000 in December, revised from 694,000. Figures for 2019 were revised. The Action Economics survey expected sales of 710,000.

The median price of a new home rose 7.4% (14.0% y/y) last month to a record $348,200. The average price of a new home also increased to a record of $402,300 (11.4% y/y). The home price figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Sales activity was mixed across the country in January. In the Midwest, sales rose 30.3% (47.8% y/y) to 99,000. Sales in the West rose 23.5% (49.1% y/y) to 252,000 units. Sales in the Northeast gained 4.8% (46.7% y/y) to 44,000. Working 4.4% lower to 369,000 (-2.4% y/y) were new home sales in the South. 

The supply of homes on the market declined to 5.1 months in January from 5.5 in the prior two months. It was the lowest level since November 2017 and down from a high of 7.4 months at the end of 2018. The medium number of months that a new home was for sale rose to 3.3, up from 3.0 in December.

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 % 2019 2018 2017
Total 764 708 692 18.6 682 615 617
  Northeast 44 42 34 46.7 31 32 40
  Midwest 99 76 70 47.8 71 75 72
  South 369 386 403 -2.4 399 348 341
  West  252 204 185 49.1 182 160 164
Median Price (NSA, $) 348,200 324,100 328,000 14.0 318,817 323,125 321,633
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