Friday, September 24, 2010

New Home Sales: Unchanged from July, Worst August on Record

by Bill McBride on 9/24/2010 10:00:00 AM

NOTE: My host (Google) is not uploading images this morning - I'm working on a fix. You can follow the links to the images.

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 288 thousand. This is unchanged from July.

Here is the graph for New Home Sales NSA.

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

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

The previous record low for the month of August was 34 thousand in 1981; the record high was 110 thousand in August 2005.

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

Sales of new single-family houses in August 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 288,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is unchanged (±16.7%)* from the revised July rate of 288,000 and is 28.9 percent (±11.0%) below the August 2009 estimate of 405,000.
And another long term graph - this one for New Home Months of Supply.

The third graph is for Months of Supply

Months of supply decreased to 8.6 in August from 8.7 in July. 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 August was 206,000. This represents a supply of 8.6 months at the current sales rate.
The final graph shows new home inventory.

The 288 thousand annual sales rate for August is just above the all time record low in May (282 thousand). 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.

Note: Sorry for the technical problems.