Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Feb 26 2024

U.S. New Home Sales Rise to a Three-Month High in January

  • Jan. sales up 1.5% (1.8% y/y) to 661,000 units SAAR, the second straight m/m gain; Dec. revised down.
  • Sales increase m/m except in the South; sales rise y/y except in the Midwest and the South.
  • Median sales price rebounds 1.8% (-2.6% y/y) to $420,700.
  • Months' supply of new homes for sale unchanged at 8.3 months.

New single-family home sales rose 1.5% m/m (1.8% y/y) to 661,000 units at an annual rate in January after a 7.2% gain to 651,000 in December (+8.0%, 664,000 initially) and a 9.4% decrease to 607,000 in November (-9.0%, 615,000 previously), according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The January reading was the second successive m/m rise to the highest level since October. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected sales of 684,000 new homes. Despite the January rise, sales had fallen 35.8% from their peak of 1.029 million in August 2020.

By region, month-on-month new home sales rose in January in three of four major regions. Sales in the Northeast surged 72.0% (4.9% y/y) to 43,000 in January, the first m/m gain since August to the highest level since March 2023, after a 3.8% decline to 25,000 in December. Sales in the West recovered 38.7% (57.0% y/y) to 190,000, the first m/m increase since September to the highest level since February 2022, following a 4.9% December decrease to 137,000. Sales in the Midwest rose 7.7% (-4.1% y/y) to 70,000, the highest level since July, after a 3.0% December drop to 65,000. To the downside, sales in the South fell 15.6% (-13.5% y/y) to 358,000 in January, the second m/m fall in three months, after a 14.6% rebound to 424,000 in December. Despite the January m/m fall, the South posted the largest level figure for new home sales among the four regions.

The median sales price of a new home rose 1.8% (-2.6% y/y) to $420,700 in January, the second m/m rise in three months, following a 3.5% drop to $413,100 in December. The median sales price, however, had fallen 15.3% since its October 2022 peak of $496,800. The average sales price of a new home advanced 8.3% (7.8% y/y) to $534,300 in January, the highest since December 2022, following a 1.2% December increase to $493,400 and three consecutive m/m declines. These sales price data are not seasonally adjusted.

The number of unsold new homes on the market rose 0.9% (3.9% y/y) to 456,000 in January, the sixth straight m/m rise to the highest level since October 2022, on top of a 0.9% gain to 452,000 in December. The latest figure was higher than 439,000 in January 2023 and well above a low of 281,000 in October 2020. The seasonally adjusted months' supply of new homes for sale held steady at 8.3 months in January. While slightly up from 8.1 months in January 2023, the months' supply remained down from a high of 10.1 months in July 2022.

The median number of months a new home stayed on the market rose to 2.8 months in January, the highest since May 2023, from 2.5 months in December. The reading remained up from the record low of 1.5 months in both September and October of 2022 but down from a high of 5.1 months in March 2021. These figures date back to January 1975.

New home sales are recorded when the sales contract is signed. 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.

  • Winnie Tapasanun has been working for Haver Analytics since 2013. She has ~20 years of working in the financial services industry. As Vice President and Economic Analyst at Globicus International, Inc., a New York-based company specializing in macroeconomics and financial markets, Winnie oversaw the company’s business operations, managed financial and economic data, and wrote daily reports on macroeconomics and financial markets. Prior to working at Globicus, she was Investment Promotion Officer at the New York Office of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) where she wrote monthly reports on the U.S. economic outlook, wrote reports on the outlook of key U.S. industries, and assisted investors on doing business and investment in Thailand. Prior to joining the BOI, she was Adjunct Professor teaching International Political Economy/International Relations at the City College of New York. Prior to her teaching experience at the CCNY, Winnie successfully completed internships at the United Nations.   Winnie holds an MA Degree from Long Island University, New York. She also did graduate studies at Columbia University in the City of New York and doctoral requirements at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her areas of specialization are international political economy, macroeconomics, financial markets, political economy, international relations, and business development/business strategy. Her regional specialization includes, but not limited to, Southeast Asia and East Asia.   Winnie is bilingual in English and Thai with competency in French. She loves to travel (~30 countries) to better understand each country’s unique economy, fascinating culture and people as well as the global economy as a whole.

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