Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Home Sales at 438,000 Annual Rate in November

by Bill McBride on 12/23/2014 10:00:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 438 thousand.

October sales were revised down from 458 thousand to 445 thousand, and September sales were unchanged at 455 thousand.

"Sales of new single-family houses in November 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 438,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 1.6 percent below the revised October rate of 445,000 and is 1.6 percent below the November 2013 estimate of 445,000."
New Home SalesClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions since 1963. The dashed line is the current sales rate.

Even with the increase in sales over the previous two years, new home sales are still close to the bottom for previous recessions.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

New Home Sales, Months of SupplyThe months of supply increased in November to 5.8 months from 5.7 months in October.

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 213,000. This represents a supply of 5.8 months at the current sales rate."
New Home Sales, InventoryOn 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.

The third graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.

The inventory of completed homes for sale is still low, and the combined total of completed and under construction is also low.

New Home Sales, NSAThe last graph shows sales NSA (monthly sales, not seasonally adjusted annual rate).

In November 2014 (red column), 31 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year 32 thousand homes were sold in Novembe.

The high for November was 86 thousand in 2005, and the low for November was 20 thousand in 2010.

This was below expectations of 460,000 sales in November, and there were downward revisions to sales in August and October.  Another weak report.

I'll have more later today.