Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Home Sales at 454,000 SAAR in April

by Bill McBride on 5/23/2013 10:00:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 454 thousand. This was up from 444 thousand SAAR in March (March sales were revised up from 417 thousand).

January sales were revised up from 445 thousand to 458 thousand, and February sales were revised up from 411 thousand to 429 thousand. Very strong upward revisions.

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 April 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 2.3 percent above the revised March rate of 444,000 and is 29.0 percent above the April 2012 estimate of 352,000."
New Home SalesClick on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

The months of supply was unchanged in April at 4.1 months.

The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009.

New Home Sales, Months of Supply 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 April was 156,000. This represents a supply of 4.1 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.

New Home Sales, InventoryThis graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.

The inventory of completed homes for sale is at a record low. The combined total of completed and under construction is also just above the record low.

The last graph shows sales NSA (monthly sales, not seasonally adjusted annual rate).

In April 2013 (red column), 45 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year 34 thousand homes were sold in April. The high for April was 116 thousand in 2005, and the low for April was 30 thousand in 2011.

New Home Sales, NSA

This was well above expectations of 425,000 sales in April, and a solid report, especially with all the upward revision to previous months.  I'll have more soon ...

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