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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Almost Unchanged Since August
by Carol Stone, CBE  November 25, 2020

• New single-family home sales tick down in October, but were up 41.5% y/y.

• Sales mixed regionally, but generally move modestly after sizable monthly swings earlier in the year.

New single-family home sales around the country changed very little in October and also in September. The total in October was 999,000 compared to 1,002,000 in September and 1,001,000 in August. The year-to-year increase in October was still sizable, at 41.5%. September's sales were revised from 959,000; all sales total are seasonally adjusted annual rates. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected a modest increase to 973,000 from that original September total of 959,000.

Purchases of new homes moved moderately in October in the various regions of the country, with slightly mixed results. The largest increase was in the Midwest, where sales rose 11,000 in October to 109,000; that was up 51.4% year-on-year. Sales rose just 2,000 in the Northeast in October to 41,000, but that was 86.4% higher year-on-year. Sales declined in the South and West. In the South they were down 12,000 in the month to 580,000 after September's upward revision to 592,000 from 563,000 reported before; the year-on-year increase was 40.1%. In the West, there were 269,000 sales in October, down from 273,000 in September; the year-on-year October amount was up 35.9%.

The median price of a new home edged down 0.3% to $330,600 in October (2.5% y/y). The average price of a new home fell back by 4.4% (up 1.6% y/y) in October to $386,206. These prices are not seasonally adjusted.

The months' supply of new homes on the market was 3.3 months in October, the same as in September. A year ago, this was 5.5 months. The median number of months a new home stayed on the market after completion fell to 3.3 in October from 4.6 months in September. A year ago, this was very similar at 3.1 months.

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) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Total 999 1,002 1,001 41.5 685 614 616
  Northeast 41 39 49 86.4 30 32 40
  Midwest 109 98 99 51.4 72 75 72
  South 580 592 594 40.1 400 347 341
  West 269 273 259 35.9 183 160 164
Median Price (NSA, $) 330,600 331,600 321,300 2.5 319,267 323,125 321,633
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