New Home Sales Not as Good as They Look

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House for SaleThe U.S. Census Bureau this morning released data on new single-family home sales for August. Sales rose 7.9% month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 421,000 from a downwardly revised July sales figure of 390,000. Economists had expected a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 425,000. The August rate is 12.6% above the rate for August 2012. At the peak in 2005, new home sales posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.4 million.

The Census Bureau also reported that the median sales price for new homes sold in July was $254,600, about 1% below the July median, and the average sales price was $318,900, down about 1% from July. The median sales price for a new house in July was $257,200, and the average sales price was $322,700.

At the end of August, the number of new homes for sale totaled 175,000, a supply of five months, down slightly from a supply of 5.2 months at the end of July.

Although new home sales rose nearly 8% in August, the number of homes sold in July was revised down from an original estimate of 394,000 to 390,000. Prices also fell in August after a big jump from June to July. The inventory is sliding again, but the fall is nowhere near the 3.9 months of supply posted in June. Sales of both new and existing homes are moderating as interest rates stay above 4.5% and prices remain relatively high.

Filed under: Housing
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