New Home Sales Decline 0.6%, Near Expectations, Prices Jump


New home prices are up, sales are soft but slowly rising over time. Sales are only 0.5% higher than a year ago.

The Census Bureau's monthly New Residential Sales report shows sales declined 0.6 percent in February.

  • New Home Sales: Sales of new single-family houses in February 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.6 percent (±13.3 percent)* below the revised January rate of 622,000, but is 0.5 percent (±16.6 percent)* above the February 2017 estimate of 615,000.
  • Sales Price: The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2018 was $326,800. The average sales price was $376,700.
  • For Sale Inventory and Months’ Supply: The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 305,000. This represents a supply of 5.9 months at the current sales rate.

Image placeholder title


Image placeholder title

Despite the talk of a "massive shortage" supply is very close to the 6-month mark, a figure many claim as healthy.

Homes are not selling because they are not affordable. Median wages have not kept up with the Fed reported "lack of inflation".

For Discussion, please see Fallacy of Wage Growth and a Housing "Shortage" in Pictures.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (2)
No. 1-2

"The rent is too damn high!"


It is interesting to look at new home sales, but the problem I have with that metric is there are no new homes in the first place where the market really bubbles: cities. And you'll find it's there that sales volumes are getting thinner and thinner as every would-be buyer is gradually priced out of the market, and every would-be seller is instead playing long term investor for capital gains.

It's that thinning of the market in cities that you really want to measure, especially when you put it in perspective of increasing population data, because it shows just how dire the residential market really is.

Global Economics