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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales and Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  June 23, 2016

Strength in the housing market toned down during May. Sales of new single-family homes declined 6.0% to 551,000 (+8.7% y/y) following a 12.3% increase to 586,000, revised from 619,000. Sales of 563,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home declined 9.3% to $290,400 (1.0% y/y) versus the record of $320,200 in April, which was revised slightly downward. The average price of a new home declined 5.1% to $358,900 (+5.3% y/y).

The decline in new home sales was paced by a one-third m/m drop in the Northeast to 34,000 (30.8% y/y) which reversed the prior month's surge. Sales in the West fell 15.6% to 124,000 and also reversed the prior month's gain. In the South, sales eased 0.9% to 323,000 (+13.3% y/y) after a 9.4% increase. To the upside, sales in the Midwest increased 12.0% to 70,000 (16.7% y/y), the highest level in two years.

The months supply of homes at the current sales rate increased to 5.3 and recovered much of the prior month's decline. The median number of months a new home was on the market declined to 3.7 (NSA), and reversed increases in the prior two 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.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 551 586 522 8.7 503 440 430
  Northeast 34 51 36 30.8 24 28 31
  Midwest 70 62 65 16.7 61 58 61
  South 323 326 298 13.3 287 244 233
  West 124 147 123 -8.8 131 110 106
Median Price (NSA, $) 290,400 320,200 298,200 1.0 297,258 283,775 265,092
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