Monday, October 26, 2015

Comments on September New Home Sales

by Bill McBride on 10/26/2015 01:18:00 PM

The new home sales report for September was well below expectations and sales for July and August were revised down. Sales were up only 2.0% year-over-year in September (SA).   Overall this was a disappointing report.

Earlier: New Home Sales decreased to 468,000 Annual Rate in September.

Even though the September report was disappointing, sales are still up solidly year-to-date.  The Census Bureau reported that new home sales this year, through September, were 392,000, not seasonally adjusted (NSA). That is up 17.6% from 333,000 sales during the same period of 2014 (NSA). That is a strong year-over-year gain for the first nine months of 2015!

In other words, no worries.

New Home Sales 2013 2014Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows new home sales for 2014 and 2015 by month (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).

The year-over-year gain was weak in September, and I expect the year-over-year increases to be lower over the remaining months compared to earlier this year - but the overall year-over-year gain should be solid in 2015.

And here is another update to the "distressing gap" graph that I first started posting a number of years ago to show the emerging gap caused by distressed sales.  Now I'm looking for the gap to close over the next few years.

Distressing GapThe "distressing gap" graph shows existing home sales (left axis) and new home sales (right axis) through September 2015. This graph starts in 1994, but the relationship has been fairly steady back to the '60s.

Following the housing bubble and bust, the "distressing gap" appeared mostly because of distressed sales.

I expect existing home sales to move sideways (distressed sales will continue to decline and be partially offset by more conventional / equity sales).  And I expect this gap to slowly close, mostly from an increase in new home sales.

However, this assumes that the builders will offer some smaller, less expensive homes.

Note: Existing home sales are counted when transactions are closed, and new home sales are counted when contracts are signed. So the timing of sales is different.