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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Home Inventory by Stage of Construction

by Calculated Risk on 1/26/2011 05:16:00 PM

The Census Bureau reported that new home inventory declined to 190,000 new houses for sale at the end of December. A common questions is: What inventory is included?

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.

Distressing Gap Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.

The inventory of completed homes for sale fell to 80,000 units in December. And the combined total of completed and under construction is at the lowest level since this series started.

In most areas the 'completed' and 'under construction' inventory of new homes is fairly lean. (Tom Lawler sent me a note just as I was finishing this post, he wrote: Currently new SF home inventories are “pretty lean,” which is good since new home sales are still “pretty soft.” )

Here are the New and Existing December home sales posts:
New Home Sales increase in December
December Existing Home Sales: 5.28 million SAAR, 8.1 months of supply
Existing Home Inventory increases 8.4% Year-over-Year in December
Home Sales: Distressing Gap
• Graph galleries for New Home and Existing Home sales