New Home Sales Beat Expectations, Up Most Since November 2017

-edited

New home sales are up thanks to builder discounts and falling mortgage rates.

The Census Department New Residential Construction report shows new home sale rose for the third month. Economists expected a pullback.

New Home Sales

Sales of new single‐family houses in March 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 4.5 percent above the revised February rate of 662,000 and is 3.0 percent above the March 2018 estimate of 672,000.

Sales Price

The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2019 was $302,700. The average sales price was $376,000.

For Sale Inventory and Months’ Supply

The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 344,000. This represents a supply of 6.0 months at the current sales rate.

By Region

  • Total: 692,000, up 4.5%
  • Northeast: 28,000, down 22.2%
  • Midwest: 87,000, up 17.6%
  • South: 401,000, up 3.6%
  • West: 176,000, up 6.7%

These are solid numbers.

Econoday notes "builders may have been giving discounts to drive sales. The median price of a new home fell 0.3 percent in March to $302,700 for year-on-year contraction at a steep 9.7 percent."

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments
No. 1-7
Bam_Man
Bam_Man

The Northeast doesn't look very solid. Existing home sales there are also a disaster.

2banana
2banana

Home sales way up yet home prices way down. Home sales way down in the NE but up everywhere else.

Tough to make an analysis.

Folks selling their houses in the NE for whatever they can get for them and then buying much cheaper in some red state?

Plus what Mish said - developers getting rid of inventory with discounts. So sorry if you already purchased a home in that developments and just saw your comps (and home equity) go way down.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Northeast is a tiny region - nearly irrelevant

Hansa
Hansa

We're running out of farms to chop up and plant McMansions here in CT. Just had the last farm in my town parceled out and 14 houses built last year. $440K apiece, with most sold.

CautiousObserver
CautiousObserver

And yet, lumber prices are continuing to fall steeply downward. Anyone know how that squares with this report?