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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Decline While Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller  March 23, 2018

Sales of new single-family homes slipped 0.6% to 618,000 (SAAR) during February following a January decline to 622,00, revised from 593,000. It was the third consecutive monthly decline from the November peak of 711,000. Expectations had been for 620,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home improved 0.6% (9.7% y/y) to $326,800 from 324,900, revised from $323,000. The average price of a new home eased 0.1% (+1.7% y/y) to $376,700.

Changes in new home sales were mixed last month across the country. In the Northeast, sales jumped 19.4% (8.8% y/y) to 37,000. Sales in the South increased 9.0% (0.6% y/y) to 338,000. Falling were sales in the Midwest by 3.7% (-8.1% y/y) to 79,000. Sales in the West also weakened by 17.6% (+3.1% y/y) to 164,000.

The months' supply of homes on the market rose to 5.9 from an October low of 4.8. The median number of months a new home was on the market remained low at 3.6 and has trended sideways since 2013.

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) Feb Jan Dec Feb Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 618 622 653 0.5 617 561 503
  Northeast 37 31 34 8.8 39 32 25
  Midwest 79 82 66 -8.1 72 69 61
  South 338 310 355 0.6 341 317 286
  West 164 199 198` 3.1 165 142 130
Median Price (NSA, $) 326,800 324,900 340,100 9.7 321,367 306,500 293,733
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