August New Home Sales Disappoint

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released data on new single-family home sales for August. Economists had been expecting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 380,000, and were disappointed by a reported increase to 373,000, down 0.3% from a revised total of 374,000 in July. Compared with July 2011, the number is up 27.7% from last year's estimate of 292,000.

The Census Bureau also reported that the median sales price for new homes sold in August was $256,900 and the average sales price was $295,30000. In July, the median sales price for a new house was $224,200 and the average sales price was $273,900.

At the end of August the number of new homes for sale totaled 141,000, a supply of 4.5 months, down slightly from an inventory totaling 142,000 at the end of July.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported earlier today that mortgage applications for purchases rose by 2.8% last week. The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgage fell to 3.63% last week. Refinancings made up 81.2% of the new mortgage applications.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Housing, Research