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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales & Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  April 25, 2016

Sales of new single-family homes declined 1.5% during March to 511,000 (SAAR) versus 519,000 in February, revised from 512,000. Despite the decline, sales increased 5.4% y/y. Sales of 520,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home fell 3.2% (NSA) to $288,000 (-1.8% y/y) after February's 5.2% rise to $297,400, revised from $301,400. The average sales price increased 4.1% m/m to $356,200 (+1.0% y/y).

By region, there was considerable variation in sales m/m. Home sales in the West declined 23.6% to 107,000, and more than reversed February's rise. Sales in the Northeast remained unchanged at 26,000 following February's 25.7% decline. To the upside, sales in the Midwest rose 18.5% to 64,000 after February's 20.6% drop, while sales in the South gained 5.0% to 314,000, and made up February's 1.3% decline.

The inventory of unsold homes increased 20.0% y/y and there was a 5.8 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 to 4.1 months, versus a low of 2.9 three months ago.

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.

Savings after Retirement: A Survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago can be found here.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Mar Feb Jan Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 511 519 521 5.4 503 440 430
  Northeast 26 26 35 30.0 24 28 31
  Midwest 64 54 68 10.3 61 58 61
  South 314 299 303 15.4 287 244 233
  West 107 140 115 20.7 131 110 106
Median Price (NSA, $) 288,000 297,400 282,600 -1.8 297,258 283,775 265,092
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