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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Rise Slightly in October
by Tom Moeller  November 24, 2021

• Sales are highest since April.

• Sales strengthen in the Midwest.

• Median sales price recovers September decline.

New single-family home sales rose 0.4% in October (-23.1% y/y) to 745,000 (SAAR) from 742,000 in September, revised from 800,000. Earlier figures also were revised. Sales remained below the January peak of 993,000. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 800,000 sales in October.

By region, October sales in the Midwest rose 11.0% (-28.3% y/y) to 81,000 after a 14.1% rise in September. Sales in the South edged 0.2% higher last month (-16.7% y/y) following firm gains in each of the prior three months. Falling by 11.8% (-26.8% y/y) to 30,000 were sales in the Northeast after a 9.7% September. In the West, sales weakened 1.1% (-33.1% y/y) to 184,000 after a 6.3% September rise.

The median price of a new home rose 0.7% (17.5% y/y) in October to a record $407,700. The average sales price of a new home jumped 4.5% (21.1% y/y) to a record $477,800. These sales price data are not seasonally adjusted.

The supply of new homes for sale rose to 6.3 months in October from 6.1 months in September. This compares with a low of 3.5 months averaged from August through October of last year. The median number of months a new home stayed on the market fell sharply to a record low of 2.4 months in October from a recent high of 5.1 months in March. These figures date back to January 1975.

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) Oct Sep Aug Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Total 745 742 693 -23.1 828 683 614
  Northeast 30 34 31 26.8 37 30 32
  Midwest 81 73 64 -28.3 94 72 75
  South 450 449 423 -16.7 476 399 347
  West 184 186 175 -33.1 221 182 159
Median Price (NSA, $) 407,700 404,700 407,600 17.5 334,992 319,267 323,125
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