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Economy in Brief

U.S. New Home Sales Decline While Prices Plummet
by Tom Moeller  July 25, 2018

Strength in the new housing market gave way to weakness last month. New single-family home sales declined 5.3% (+2.4% y/y) to 631,000 (SAAR) during June and more-than-reversed May's 3.9% increase to 666,000, revised from 689,000. It was the lowest level of sales since October and was down from November's high of 712,000. Expectations had been for 670,000 sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Sales are calculated when contracts are closed and are tabulated by the National Association of Realtors.

The median price of a new home weakened 2.5% (-4.2% y/y) to $302,100 from $309,700, revised from $313,000. It was the lowest price since February of last year. The average price of a new home slipped 0.5% (-2.0% y/y) to $363,300, the lowest price since January 2017.

New home sales declined last month throughout most of the country. Home sales in the Midwest fell 13.4% (+7.6% y/y) to 71,000, the lowest point in six months. New home sales in the South declined 7.7% (+8.1% y/y) to 361,000. In the West, new home sales fell 5.2% (-15.0% y/y) to 147,000, the lowest level since August of last year and down from November's 216,000 high. Working the other way, new home sales in the Northeast surged by more than one-third m/m (20.9% y/y) to 52,000, the highest level since December 2007.

The months' supply of homes on the market improved m/m to 5.7 but has been moving irregularly sideways since 2012. The median number of months a new home was on the market fell to 3.4, the lowest point since January.

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.

Preview of the 2018 Comprehensive Update of the National Income and Product Accounts from the Bureau of Economic Analysis is available here.

U.S. New Single-Family Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 631 666 641 2.4 616 560 502
  Northeast 52 38 35 20.9 40 32 25
  Midwest 71 82 93 7.6 72 69 61
  South 361 391 346 8.1 341 317 286
  West  147 155 167 -15.0 164 142 130
Median Price (NSA, $) 302,100 309,700 314,800 -4.2 321,633 306,500 293,733
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