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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Drop Back in September
by Tom Moeller  October 26, 2022

• Home sales fall reverses August rise.

• Sales decline sharply in the South.

• Median sales price rebounds.

Last month, new single-family home sales declined 10.9% (-17.6% y/y) to 603,000 (AR) from 677,00 in August, revised from 685,000. July sales totaled 543,000. Sales have fallen 40.1% from their peak of 1.007 million in July 2020. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected sales of 594,000 new homes.

Last month's decline in new home sales was concentrated in the South where they declined 20.2% (-19.3% y/y) to 356,000. The decline fully reversed the August increase to 446,000. Sales in the West eased 0.7% in September (-30.4% y/y) to 135,000 which came after a 24.8% August rise. Moving 56.0% higher last month (25.8% y/y) were sales in the Northeast to 39,000, the highest level since April. New home sales in the Midwest gained 4.3% (10.6% y/y) in September to 73,000, a six-month high.

The median price of a new home increased 8.0% last month (13.9% y/y) to $470, 600 after weakening 9.2% in August. The average sales price of a new home fell 2.1% (+10.0% y/y) to $517,700 following a 6.6% August decline. These sales price data are not seasonally adjusted.

The number of unsold new homes on the market fell 1.1% (+23.2% y/y) to a seasonally adjusted 462,000, up from a low of 142,000 in July 2012. The seasonally adjusted months' supply of new homes for sale rose to 9.2 months, up from a low of 3.3 months in August 2021. The median number of months a new home stayed on the market plunged to a record low of 1.5 months, down from a high of 5.1 months in March 2021. 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.

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