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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Ease While Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  May 23, 2018

Sales of new single-family homes during April slipped 1.5% (+11.6% y/y) to 662,000 (SAAR) from 672,000 during March, revised from 694,000. Expectations had been for 680,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of a new home fell 6.9% (+0.4% y/y) to $312,400 from $335,400, revised from $337,200. It was the lowest price in twelve months. The average price of a new home increased 11.3% both m/m and y/y to a record $407,300.

Changes in new home sales were mixed last month across the country. In the Northeast, sales increased 11.1% m/m (5.3% y/y) to 40,000. That followed a 16.3% March decline due to bad weather. Sales in the South inched slightly higher to 355,000 (6.0% y/y) following a 2.7% fall. Sales in the Midwest held steady m/m (26.4% y/y) at 91,000 after a 7.1% rise. The level was the highest since 2007. New home sales in the West slumped 7.9% (+18.9% y/y) to 176,000, down 18.5% from the November peak of 216,000.

The months' supply of homes on the market improved m/m to 5.4 but has been moving irregularly sideways since 2012. The median number of months a new home was on the market remained low at 3.8, up slightly during the last nine months.

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) Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 662 672 659 11.6 617 561 503
  Northeast 40 36 43 5.3 39 32 25
  Midwest 91 91 85 26.4 72 69 61
  South 355 354 364 6.0 341 317 286
  West  176 191 167 18.9 165 142 130
Median Price (NSA, $) 312,400 335,400 329,400 0.4 321,633 306,500 293,733
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