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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Reach Cycle High; Prices Fall Sharply
by Tom Moeller  October 24, 2014

New home sales during September edged up 0.2% m/m to 467,000 (17.0% y/y) following a revised 15.3% August rise to 466,000, initially reported as 504,000. It was the highest level of sales since July 2008. The latest figure essentially matched expectations for 468,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. These volume numbers are quoted at seasonally adjusted annual rates.

The median price for a new home declined 9.7% to $259,000 (-4.0% y/y) from $286,800 in August, revised from $275,600. The average price of a new home fell 10.3% to 313,200 (-2.6% y/y) from $349,300, revised from $347,900.

Home sales in the Midwest jumped 12.3% to 64,000 (6.7% y/y) while sales in the South gained 2.0% to 261,000 (18.6% y/y). New home sales in the Northeast were unchanged at 30,000 (20.0% y/y) while sales in the West declined 8.9% to 112,000 (+19.1% y/y).

The inventory of unsold homes increased 1.5% to 207,000 (13.1% y/y), the highest level since July 2010 and up 45.8% from the 2012 low. The months' sales supply of new homes held at 5.3 months, its lowest level since May. The length of time to sell a new home of 3.1 months was higher than the 2.9 months last October but down from 14.0 months at the end of 2009.

The data in this report are available in Haver's USECON database. The consensus expectation figure from the Action Economics survey is available in the AS1REPNA database.

Using the Federal Reserve's Beige Book to Track Economic Activity from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is available here.

U.S. New Home Sales Sep Aug Jul Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total SAAR, 000s 467 466 404 17.0 430 368 306
Northeast 30 30 21 20.0 31 29 21
Midwest 64 57 57 6.7 61 47 45
South 261 256 230 18.6 233 196 168
West 112 123 96 19.1 106 97 72
Median Price (NSA, $) 259,000 286,800 285,200 -4.0 265,092 242,108 224,317
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