Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Apr 25 2023

U.S. New Home Sales Unexpectedly Jump in March to a One-Year High

  • March sales +9.6% m/m to 683,000 units SAAR; Feb. downwardly revised to a drop from a rise.
  • Month-on-month sales gain in three of four major regions with only decline in the South.
  • Median sales price, up for the third time in four months, rises to a three-month-high $449,800.

New single-family home sales advanced 9.6% m/m (-3.4% y/y) to 683,000 units at an annual rate in March after a 3.9% decline to 623,000 in February (+1.1%, 640,000 initially) and a 4.2% increase to 648,000 in January (+1.8%, 633,000 previously), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The March reading was the third m/m rise in four months to the highest level since March 2022. Despite the March gain, sales have fallen 34.1% from their peak of 1.036 million in August 2020. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected sales of 634,000 new homes for March.

By region, March sales in the Northeast soared a record 170.8% (27.5% y/y) to 65,000, the third m/m gain in four months to the highest level since June 2007, after a 44.2% collapse to 24,000 in February. Sales in the West recovered 29.8% (-9.0% y/y) to 161,000, the first m/m gain since November to the highest level since May 2022, after a 0.8% February decline to 124,000. Sales in the Midwest rebounded 6.0% (-11.3% y/y) to 71,000, the third m/m increase in four months, following a 6.9% February drop to 67,000. To the downside, sales in the South fell 5.4% (-3.3% y/y) to 386,000 in March, the first m/m fall and the lowest level since November, after holding steady at 408,000 in February.

The median price of a new home increased 3.8% (3.2% y/y) to a three-month-high $449,800 in March on top of a 1.1% rise to $433,200 in February. The price, however, has fallen 9.5% since its October peak of $496,800. The average sales price of a new home rose 12.1% (9.9% y/y) to a three-month-high $562,400 after a 2.5% February gain to $501,800. Both median and average sales prices registered their third m/m advances in four months in March. These sales price data are not seasonally adjusted.

The number of unsold new homes on the market fell 0.5% (+5.1% y/y) to a seasonally adjusted 432,000 in March, the fifth straight m/m fall to the lowest level since last April, after a 0.9% drop to 434,000 in February. Nevertheless, these figures were up from 411,000 last March and a low of 281,000 in October 2020. The seasonally adjusted months' supply of new homes for sale declined to 7.6 months in March, a one-year low, from 8.4 months in February. They remained down from a high of 10.1 months in September but up from the record low of 3.3 months in August 2020. The median number of months a new home stayed on the market rose to 2.8 months in March, the highest since June 2022, from 2.5 months in February; these readings 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.

  • Winnie Tapasanun has been working for Haver Analytics since 2013. She has almost 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.   A bilingual (English and Thai) with competency in French, Winnie loves to travel (almost 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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