by Bill McBride on 12/27/2012 10:00:00 AM
Thursday, December 27, 2012
The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 377 thousand. This was up from a revised 361 thousand SAAR in October (revised down from 368 thousand). Sales for August and September were revised up slightly.
The first graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions since 1963. The dashed line is the current sales rate.
Sales of new single-family houses in November 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000 ... This is 4.4 percent above the revised October rate of 361,000 and is 15.3 percent above the November 2011 estimate of 327,000.Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.
The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.
The months of supply decreased in November to 4.7 months. October was revised up to 4.9 months (from 4.8 months).
The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009.
This is now in the normal range (less than 6 months supply is normal).
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 149,000. This represents a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales rate.On inventory, according to the Census Bureau:
"A house is considered for sale when a permit to build has been issued in permit-issuing places or work has begun on the footings or foundation in nonpermit areas and a sales contract has not been signed nor a deposit accepted."Starting in 1973 the Census Bureau broke this down into three categories: Not Started, Under Construction, and Completed.
This graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.
The inventory of completed homes for sale was just above the record low in November. The combined total of completed and under construction is also just above the record low since "under construction" is starting to increase.
The last graph shows sales NSA (monthly sales, not seasonally adjusted annual rate).
In November 2012 (red column), 27 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year only 23 thousand homes were sold in November. This was the fourth weakest November since this data has been tracked (above 2011, 2009 and 1966). The high for November was 86 thousand in 2005.
New home sales have averaged 363 thousand SAAR through November 2012, up sharply from the 307 thousand sales in 2011. Also sales are finally at the lows for previous recessions too.
This was slightly above expectations of 375,000. I'll have more soon ...