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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Strengthen in December
by Tom Moeller  January 26, 2022

• Sales are highest since March.

• Strengthening is pronounced in Midwest & South.

• Median sales price declines sharply.

New single-family home sales rose 11.9% (-14.0% y/y) in December to 811,000 (AR) from 725,000 in November, revised from 744,000. During all of 2021, sales fell to 765,000 from 828,000 in 2020. December sales remained below the January 2021 peak of 993,000. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 763,000 sales in December.

By region, December sales in the Midwest rose 56.4% (-23.2% y/y) to 86,000 after falling 16.7% in November. In the South, sales rose 14.9% (-17.5% y/y) to 456,000 following a 1.5% November gain. In the West, sales edged 0.4% higher (2.1% y/y) to 242,000 following a 47.9% November surge. Falling by 15.6% (-34.1% y/y) to 27,000 were sales in the Northeast after they rose 10.3% in November.

The median price of a new home declined 9.2% (+3.4% y/y) in December to $377,700. It was the lowest price in six months. The average sales price of a new home fell 4.6% (+13.8% y/y) to $457,300. These sales price data are not seasonally adjusted.

The supply of new homes for sale fell to 6.0 months in December from 6.6 months in November. This compares with 3.8 months in December 2020. The median number of months a new home stayed on the market eased to 2.8 from 2.9 months in November. The record low was October's 2.5 months. 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) Dec Nov Oct Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Total 811 725 649 -14.0 765 828 683
  Northeast 27 32 29 -34.1 35 37 30
  Midwest 86 55 66 -23.2 85 94 72
  South 456 397 391 -17.5 448 476 399
  West 242 241 163 2.1 197 221 182
Median Price (NSA, $) 377,700 416,100 421,500 3.4 392,900 336,900 321,500
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