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Monday, November 28, 2011

New Home Sales in October: 307,000 SAAR

by Calculated Risk on 11/28/2011 10:00:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 307 thousand. This was up from a revised 303 thousand in September (revised down from 313 thousand).

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 October 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000 ... This is 1.3 percent (±19.7%)* above the revised September rate of 303,000 and is 8.9 percent (±17.2%)* above the October 2010 estimate of 282,000.
New Home SalesClick on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

Months of supply decreased to 6.3 in October.

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

New Home Sales, Months of Supply This is still slightly higher than normal (less than 6 months supply is normal).
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 162,000. This represents a supply of 6.3 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 was at 60,000 units in October. The combined total of completed and under construction is at the lowest level since this series started.

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

In October 2011 (red column), 25 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). This was just above the record low for October of 23 thousand set in 2010. The high for October was 105 thousand in 2005.

New Home Sales, NSAThis was slightly below the consensus forecast of 310 thousand, and just above the record low for the month of October set last year (NSA).

New home sales have averaged only 299 thousand SAAR over the 18 months since the expiration of the tax credit ... mostly moving sideways at a very low level.