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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales & Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  September 26, 2017

Sales of new single-family homes fell 3.4% (-1.2% y/y) to 560,000 during August, following a 5.5% drop in July to 580,000, revised from 571,000. August sales were at the lowest level since December. The figures do not include the full effects due to Hurricane Harvey. Expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey had been for 585,000 sales.

The median price of a new home declined 6.2% (+0.4% y/y) to $300,200 from $319,900. It was the lowest level in six months. The average price of a new home eased 0.9% (+3.7% y/y) to $368,100.

Movement in home sales was mixed around the country, with weakness led last month by a 4.7% decline (-9.2% y/y) in the South to 307,000, the third straight month of decline. In the West, sales fell 2.7% (+4.3% y/y) to 146,000 after a 15.3% drop. New home sales in the Northeast declined 2.6%, up two-thirds y/y, to 38,000 after a 9.3% drop. In the Midwest, sales held steady m/m (+4.5% y/y) at 69,000 following a 7.8% gain in July.

There was a 6.1 months' supply of homes for sale at the current sales rate. It was the highest level since July 2014. The median number of months a new home was on the market rose slightly to 3.1.

Why Persistent Employment Disparities Matter for the Economy's Health is the title of today's speech by Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen and it can be found here.

The data in this report are available in Haver's USECON database. The consensus expectation figure from Action Economics is available in the AS1REPNA database.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 560 580 614 -1.2 561 503 440
  Northeast 38 39 43 65.1 32 25 28
  Midwest 69 69 64 4.5 69 61 58
  South 307 322 330 -9.2 317 286 244
  West 146 150 177 4.3 142 130 110
Median Price (NSA, $) 300,200 319,900 316,300 0.4 310,567 297,258 283,775
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