U.S. New Home Sales Strengthen in April
|in:Economy in Brief
- Sales pattern is uneven across regions of country.
- Supply of new homes for sale continues to decline.
- Median sales price weakens considerably.
New single-family home sales increased 4.1% in April (11.8% y/y) to 683,000 (SAAR) from 656,000 in March, revised from 683,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. February sales were revised to 631,000 from 623,000. Sales remain 33.6% below their peak of 1.029 million in August 2020. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected sales of 639,000 new homes in April.
Sales patterns varied by region. In the South, sales strengthened 17.8% (23.4% y/y) to 443,000 from 376,000 in March. It was the highest sales level since January 2022. In the Midwest, sales increased 11.8% (20.6% y/y) to 76,000 from 68,000 in March. It was the highest level since March of last year. Offsetting these increases was a 58.6% decline (-46.7% y/y) in the Northeast to 24,000. It retraced most of the March jump. Also declining were sales in the West. The 9.1% drop (-2.8% y/y) to 140,000 lost nearly half of the March increase to 154,000 units.
The median price of a new home declined 7.7% (-8.2% y/y) to $420,800. It was the lowest price since December 2021 and down 15.3% from the October 2022 high of $496,800. The average sales price of a new home weakened 10.4% (-10.9% y/y) to $501,000 following a 9.0% March gain to $559,200. These sales price data are not seasonally adjusted.
The number of unsold new homes on the market rose 0.2% (-0.2% y/y) to 433,000 in April after falling 0.9% in March. The latest figure was roughly steady y/y but well above a low of 281,000 in October 2020. The seasonally adjusted months' supply of new homes for sale declined to 7.6 months in April from a high of 10.1 months in July. It remained up from its record low of 3.3 months in October 2020.
The median number of months a new home stayed on the market held steady m/m at 2.8 months in April. The reading remained up from the record low of 1.5 months in both September and October of last year, but 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.
Tom MoellerAuthorMore in Author Profile »
Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio. Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984. He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists. Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.