Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Home Sales increased to 495,000 Annual Rate in October

by Bill McBride on 11/25/2015 10:12:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 495 thousand.

The previous three months were revised down by a total of 40 thousand (SAAR).

"SSales of new single-family houses in October 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 495,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 10.7 percent (±17.7%)* above the revised September rate of 447,000 and is 4.9 percent (±17.6%)* above the October 2014 estimate of 472,000."
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 since the bottom, new home sales are still fairly low historically.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

New Home Sales, Months of SupplyThe months of supply decreased in October to 5.5 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 October was 226,000. This represents a supply of 5.5 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 October 2015 (red column), 41 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year 38 thousand homes were sold in October.

The all time high for October was 105 thousand in 2005, and the all time low for October was 23 thousand in 2011.

This was close to expectations of 499,000 sales SAAR in October, however prior months were revised down - a somewhat disappointing report.  I'll have more later today.