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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales See Strong Rise in September
by Carol Stone, CBE  October 26, 2021

• Sales are highest since March.

• The Northeast and South have largest %-age gains in September.

• Median sales price now exceeds $400,000.

New single-family home sales rose 14.0% in September (-17.6% y/y) to 800,000 (SAAR). However, August’s sales were revised down noticeably from 740,000 to 702,000, and July’s sales were revised from 729,000 to 712,000. The September amount is 19.4% below the January 2021 peak of 993,000; the all-time high was 1,389,000 in July 2005. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 763,000 sales in September. All sales numbers shown here are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates.

By region, sales in September grew by the largest percentage in the Northeast, 32.3% (+7.9% y/y) to 41,000 from 31,000 in August. They were also strong in the South, advancing 17.4% (-11.7% y/y) in September to 498,000, following a 2.4% increase in August. There were 197,000 sales of new homes in the West, +8.2% m/m and -27.6% y/y; they had fallen 7.1% m/m in August. Sales did fall 1.5% m/m in the Midwest (-34.0% y/y) to 64,000, a third consecutive decrease with August down 15.6% and July down 19.8%.

The median price of a new home edged upward 1.8% in September to $408,800 (+18.7%) after a modest 0.5% increase in August. The September amount is yet another record high. The average sales price of a new home was $451,700 in September, up 1.1% (+11.5% y/y) from August, which had seen a 2.0% decrease. These sales price data are not seasonally adjusted.

The supply of new homes for sale eased to 5.7 months in September, down from 6.5 months in August and the smallest since May’s 5.4 months. These compare with a low of 3.5 months from August through October of last year. The median number of months a new home stayed on the market fell to 3.2 months in September from 3.6 months in August and from the nine-year high of 5.1 months in March.

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) Sep Aug Jul Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Total 800 702 712 -17.6 822 683 617
  Northeast 41 31 25 7.9 37 30 32
  Midwest 64 65 77 -34 93 72 76
  South 498 424 414 -11.7 474 399 348
  West 197 182 196 -27.6 218 182 160
Median Price (NSA, $) 408,800 401,500 399,700 18.7 336,900 321,500 326,400
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