New Home Sales, Prices Take Unexpected Dip

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released data on new single-family home sales for October. Sales fell 0.3% month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 368,000. Economists had been expecting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 387,000. The October number is 17.2% higher than the total for October 2011. 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 October was $237,700 and the average sales price was $278,900. In September, the median sales price for a new house was $242,400 and the average sales price was $292,400.

At the end of September the number of new homes for sale totaled 147,000, a supply of 4.8 months, up slightly from an inventory totaling 145,000 at the end of September.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported earlier today that mortgage applications for purchases fell by 0.3% last week. The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgage fell to 3.53% last week. Refinancings made up 81% of the new mortgage applications.

Paul Ausick

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