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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales & Prices Improve
by Tom Moeller  March 23, 2016

Sales of new single-family homes increased 2.0% to 512,000 (SAAR, -6.1% y/y) during February after a 7.0% decline to 502,000 in January, revised from 494,000. Sales of 510,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home rebounded 6.2% (2.6% y/y) to $301,400 after January's decline to $283,900, revised from $278,800. The average sales price declined 4.0% m/m to $348,900 (-2.0% y/y).

By region, there was considerable variation in sales m/m. Home sales in the West jumped 38.5% (10.2% y/y) to 151,000 following January's 32.7% decline. To the downside, sales in the Northeast declined 24.2% (-3.8% y/y) to 25,000, and reversed most of the prior month's gain. Sales in the Midwest fell 17.9% (+1.9% y/y) to 55,000 after a 4.3% decline. In the South, sales fell 4.1% (-14.3% y/y) to 281,000, negating January's improvement.

The inventory of unsold homes increased 17.6% y/y and there was a 5.6 months supply at the current sales rate. That figure was up from a low of 4.0 months in January 2013. The number of months a new home was on the market increased slightly to 3.8 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.

Job Gains Remain Strong, Inflation Improves from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas can be found here.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Feb Jan Dec Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 512 502 540 -6.1 503 440 430
  Northeast 25 33 28 -3.8 24 28 31
  Midwest 55 67 70 1.9 61 58 61
  South 281 293 280 -14.3 287 244 233
  West 151 109 162 10.2 131 110 106
Median Price (NSA, $) 301,400 283,900 297,000 2.6 294,575 283,775 265,092
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