Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Home Sales decline to Record Low in July

by Bill McBride on 8/25/2010 10:00:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 276 thousand. This is an decrease from the record low of 315 thousand in June (revised down from 330 thousand).

New Home Sales Monthly Not Seasonally Adjusted Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows monthly new home sales (NSA - Not Seasonally Adjusted or annualized).

Note the Red columns for 2010. In July 2010, 25 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). This is a new record low for July.

The previous record low for the month of July was 31 thousand in 1982; the record high was 117 thousand in July 2005.

New Home Sales and Recessions The second graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions for the last 47 years.

Sales of new single-family houses in July 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 276,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 12.4 percent (±10.8%) below the revised June rate of 315,000 and is 32.4 percent (±8.7%) below the July 2009 estimate of 408,000.
And another long term graph - this one for New Home Months of Supply.

New Home Months of Supply and RecessionsMonths of supply increased to 9.1 in July from 8.0 in June. The all time record was 12.4 months of supply in January 2009. This is still very high (less than 6 months supply is normal).
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 210,000. This represents a supply of 9.1 months at the current sales rate.
New Home Sales Inventory The final graph shows new home inventory.

The 276 thousand annual sales rate for July is the all time record low (May was revised up a little). This was another very weak report. New home sales are important for the economy and jobs - and this indicates that residential investment will be a sharp drag on GDP in Q3.