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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales & Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  February 24, 2016

Sales of new single-family homes declined 9.2% during January (-5.2% y/y) to 494,000 (SAAR) and reversed December's 8.2% increase to an unrevised 544,000. December sales were biased by new closing procedures which shifted sales out of November. Sales of 520,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home declined 5.7% (-4.5% y/y) to $278,800 versus December. The average sales price increased 5.2% m/m to $365,700 (2.7% y/y).

By region, there was considerable variation in sales m/m. Home sales in the Northeast increased 3.4% and doubled y/y to 30,000. In the South, sales gained 1.8% (-2.0% y/y) to 290,000. Moving lower by 5.9% to 64,000 (-1.5% y/y) were sales in the Midwest while sales in the West fell by nearly one-third m/m (-24.1% y/y) to 110,000.

The inventory of unsold homes increased 14.4% y/y and there was a 5.8 months supply at the current sales rate. That figure was up from a recent low of 4.0 months in January 2013. The number of months a new home was on the market remained near the record low at 3.4 months.

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

Recent Monetary Policy Developments is the title of yesterday's speech by Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer and it is available here.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Jan Dec Nov Y/Y %, SA 2015 2014 2013
Total 494 544 503 -5.2 503 440 430
  Northeast 30 29 25 100.0 24 28 31
  Midwest 64 68 61 -1.5 61 58 61
  South 290 285 275 -2.0 287 244 233
  West 110 162 142 -24.1 131 110 106
Median Price (NSA, $) 278,800 295,800 304,300 -4.5 294,575 283,775 265,092
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