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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales & Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  September 26, 2016

The new home market has weakened recently. Sales of new single-family homes declined 7.6% during August (+20.6% y/y) to 609,000 (SAAR) from 659,000 in July, revised from 654,000. Sales of 597,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home declined 3.1% to $284,000 (-5.4% y/y), the lowest level since July 2014. The average price of a new home improved 0.5% to $353,600 (1.4% y/y) following a 3.1% decline.

Last month's decline in new home sales was paced by a roughly one-third drop in the Northeast to 23,000 (-25.8% y/y), which reversed the July gain. Sales in the South also fell 12.3% to 343,000 (+15.9% y/y). Sales in the Midwest eased 2.4% to 81,000. They still were up roughly one-third y/y, and at the highest level since early 2008. Continuing upward were sales in the West where an 8.0% gain to 162,000 (35.0% y/y) followed a 6.4% rise.

The months' supply of homes at the current sales rate rebounded to 4.6, but remained below the August high of 5.8 months. The median number of months a new home was on the market declined to 3.2 (NSA), the lowest level since December.

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) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 609 659 579 20.6 502 440 430
  Northeast 23 35 26 -25.8 25 28 31
  Midwest 81 83 79 39.7 61 58 61
  South 343 391 333 15.9 287 244 233
  West 162 150 141 35.0 131 110 106
Median Price (NSA, $) 284,000 293,100 320,700 -5.4 297,258 283,775 265,092
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