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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Surge While Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  August 23, 2016

Sales of new single-family homes increased 12.4% (31.3% y/y) to 654,000 (SAAR) during July from 582,000 in June, revised from 592,000. It was the highest level of sales since October 2007. Sales of 580,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home declined 5.1% to $294,600 (-0.5% y/y), the second sharp decline in three months. The average price of a new home improved 0.7% to $355,800 (4.1% y/y).

Last month's rise in new home sales was paced by a 40.0% recovery in the Northeast to 35,000 (25.0% y/y), which reversed nearly all of the declines in the prior two months. Sales in the South jumped 18.1% (39.6% y/y) to 398,000, the highest level since 2007. Sales in the Midwest firmed 1.2% (35.5% y/y) to 84,000, also a nine-year high. Sales in the West remained unchanged (11.4% y/y) at 137,000, down from December's peak of 153,000.

The months' supply of homes at the current sales rate dropped sharply to 4.3, the lowest level since June 2013. The median number of months a new home was on the market declined to 3.7 (NSA).

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.

How Do People Revise Their Inflation Expectations? from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Jul Jun May Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 654 582 572 31.3 502 440 430
  Northeast 35 25 32 25.0 25 28 31
  Midwest 84 83 72 35.5 61 58 61
  South 398 327 327 39.6 287 244 233
  West 137 137 141 11.4 131 110 106
Median Price (NSA, $) 294,600 310,500 290,700 -0.5 297,258 283,775 265,092
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