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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Fell in January
by Sandy Batten  February 24, 2022

• Sales fell in Jan after two double-digit percent increases, but with upward revisions to both Nov and Dec.

• Sales fell in three of four major regions with only gain in the West.

• Median sales price rebounded after two consecutive monthly declines.

New single-family home sales fell 4.5% m/m (-19.3% y/y) to 801,000 at an annual rate in January with upward revisions to sales in both November and December. Sales in December were revised up to 839,000 from 811,000 previously, and sales in November were revised up to 749,000 from 725,000 previously. The most recent peak in sales was 993,000 in January 2021. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 809,000 sales in January.

By region, sales in December fell in three of the four major regions, rising only in the West (1.2% m/m for the third consecutive monthly gain). Sales in the Northeast slumped 10.7% m/m, their third consecutive monthly decline to the lowest level since April 2020. Sales in the Midwest declined 3.7% m/m in January after an outsized 39.7% m/m jump in December. Sales in the South decreased 7.4% m/m in January, their first decline in three months.

The median price of a new home rebounded in January, rising 7.0% m/m (+13.4% y/y), reversing a 7.0% m/m decline in December. The average sales price of a new home rose 3.0% m/m (+18.7% y/y) in January to a record high $496,900. These sales price data are not seasonally adjusted.

The supply of new homes for sale rose to 6.1 months in January from 5.6 months in December. The recent low was 3.5 months reached in August, September and October of 2020. The median number of months a new home stayed on the market fell to 2.5 months, tying the record low reached in October, from 3.3 months in December. 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.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Jan Dec Nov Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Total 801 839 749 -19.3 767 822 683
  Northeast 25 28 29 -46.8 35 37 30
  Midwest 78 81 58 -37.1 86 93 72
  South 438 473 412 -23.8 450 474 399
  West 260 257 250 5.3 197 218 182
Median Price (NSA, $) 423,300 395,500 425,300 13.4 397,000 336,900 321,500
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