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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Improve; Prices Surge to Record
by Tom Moeller  June 23, 2017

Sales of new single-family homes increased 2.9% during May (8.9% y/y) to 610,000 from 593,000 in April, revised from 569,000. Despite the increase, sales were 5.3% below the March peak. Expectations had been for 595,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home jumped 11.5% (16.8% y/y) to a record $345,800. The average price of a new home gained 10.5% (16.1% y/y) to $406,400, also a record.

The improvement in home sales was led by a 13.3% rise (14.1% y/y) in the West which followed a 17.8% decline. In the South, sales increased 6.2% (15.0% y/y) to the highest level since July. Moving the other way, sales declined 25.7% (-23.6% y/y) in the Midwest to the lowest level since March 2015. New home sales fell 10.8% in the Northeast. They were unchanged y/y at the lowest point in six months.

The months' supply of homes at the current sales rate held steady last month at 5.3, down from the recent high of 5.6 months in December. The median number of months a new home was on the market dropped sharply to 3.1 (NSA), the shortest period since October.

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.

Relationship Between Regulation and Economic Growth from Fed Governor Jerome H Powel is available here.

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U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) May Apr Mar May Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 610 593 644 8.9 561 503 440
  Northeast 33 37 38 0.0 32 25 28
  Midwest 55 74 86 -23.6 69 61 58
  South 360 339 346 15.0 317 286 244
  West 162 143 174 14.1 142 130 110
Median Price (NSA, $) 345,800 310,200 320,100 16.8 310,567 297,258 283,775
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