Recent Updates

  • UK: Gilt Issuance (Sep)
  • Belgium: Business Surveys (Oct), Capacity Utilization (Q4)
  • Flash PMIs: Australia, Japan, France, Euro Area, Germany, UK, US (Oct)
  • Lebanon: Trade in Goods (Aug)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Strengthen Unexpectedly in August, But Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  September 24, 2020

• New single-family home sales increased to highest level since September 2006.

• Sales improvement varied m/m across the country.

• Prices weakened notably.

Sales of new single-family homes increased 4.8% during August (43.2% y/y) to 1.011 million (SAAR) from 965,000 in July, revised from 901,000. Sales also increased sharply in June to 841,000, revised from 791,000. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected a decline in sales to 893,000.

Purchases of new homes were mixed across the country. The South led the strength with a 13.4% jump (50.0% y/y) to 636,000, the highest sales level since December 2005. Sales in the Northeast rose 5.0% to 42,000 (27.3% y/y), though that remained below the June high of 53,000. Elsewhere in the country, sales eased m/m. In the Midwest, sales fell 21.4% to 99,000 (+54.7% y/y), although that reversed only part of July's 59.5% rise. Sales in the West slipped 1.7% to 234,000 (+26.5% y/y) and remained just below the January high.

The median price of a new home eased 4.6% (-4.3% y/y) to $312,800 in August. The average price of a new home slipped 0.8% (-6.0% y/y) to $369,000 in July. These prices are not seasonally adjusted.

The months' supply of new homes on the market plunged again in August to 3.3 months, down from the April high of 6.8 months. The median number of months a new home stayed on the market edged up m/m to 4.2 months in August, up from 3.2 months twelve months earlier.

New home sales activity and prices 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 % 2019 2018 2017
Total 1,011 965 841 43.2 685 614 616
  Northeast 42 40 53 27.3 30 32 40
  Midwest 99 126 79 54.7 72 75 72
  South 636 561 495 50.0 400 347 341
  West 234 238 214 26.5 183 160 164
Median Price (NSA, $) 312,800 327,800 337,700 -4.3 319,267 323,125 321,633
close
large image