New Home Sales Continue See-Saw Pattern, Down 5.3 Percent

Jul 25 2018

New home sales have adopted an up and down pattern since March and continued in that trend in June.  The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report that those sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631,00 units.  This is down 5.3 percent from May’s revised sales of 666,000.  That is a substantial downward revision from the 689,000 units and 6.7 percent increase originally reported for the month.  Sales are hanging on to a 2.4 percent improvement over the June 2017 estimate of 616,000.

Analysts had expected sales to retreat but were looking for a much less definitive move.  Forecasts from those polled by Econoday fell in the range of 590,000 to 685,000 units.  The consensus was 668,000.

Both median and average sales prices were down for the second straight month.  The median price was $302,100 compared to $315,200 in June 2017.  The respective average prices were $363,300 and $370,600.

On a non-adjusted basis there were 57,000 new homes sold in June compared to 63,000 in May and 56,000 in June of last year.  Sales for the year through June total 349,000, a 6.9 percent increase over the same period last year.

At the end of the reporting period there were 301,000 newly constructed homes for sale, about 8,000 more than in May.  The report estimates this represents a 5.3-month supply at the current pace of sales, up from 4.7 months in June and 4.9 months a year earlier.

Sales were lower than in May in three regions but were especially strong in the Northeast.  There they soared by 36.8 percent compared to May and are running 20.9 percent ahead of the same month last year.   Sales declined in the Midwest by 13.4 percent month-over-month but were up 7.6 percent on an annual basis.  Sales in the South were down 7.7 percent, while retaining an 8.1 percent lead over last year.  Activity in the West pulled back by 5.2 percent compared to May and is now down 15.0 percent compared to June 2017.

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