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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Decline in December, Reaching Nine-Year High in 2016
by Tom Moeller  January 26, 2017

Sales of new single-family homes declined 10.4% to 536,000 during December from a revised 598,000 in November, initially reported as 592,000. Sales of 589,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. During December, sales remained unchanged y/y, but for all of 2016, sales rose 12.2% y/y to 562,000, the highest level since 2007.

The median price of a new home increased 4.3% (7.9% y/y) to $322,500 from $309,200, revised from $305,400. The average price of a new home jumped 5.1% (7.2% y/y) to $384,000 following a 7.4% increase in November.

Last month's decline in new home sales was led by a 41.0% fall (-40.0% y/y) in sales in the Midwest to 49,000. In the South, sales fell 12.6% (0.0% y/y) to 285,000. Home sales in the West eased 1.3% (0.0% y/y) to 156,000, but in the Northeast sales increased 48.4% (50.0% y/y) to 46,000.

The months' supply of homes at the current sales rate jumped to 5.8, the highest level since September 2015. The median number of months a new home was on the market held steady at 3.2 (NSA), and was down from 4.1 months in April.

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) Dec Nov Oct Dec Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 536 598 571 0.0 562 501 439
  Northeast 46 31 35 50.0 34 24 28
  Midwest 49 83 68 -40.0 67 61 60
  South 285 326 329 0.0 318 285 244
  West 156 158 139 0.0 142 128 108
Median Price (NSA, $) 322,500 309,200 301,800 7.9 308,942 297,258 283,775
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