Friday, December 23, 2011

New Home Sales increase in November to 315,000 SAAR

by Calculated Risk on 12/23/2011 10:00:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 315 thousand. This was up from a revised 310 thousand in October (revised up from 307 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 November 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 315,000 ... This is 1.6 percent (±12.2%)* above the revised October rate of 310,000 and is 9.8 percent (±19.5%)* above the November 2010 estimate of 287,000.
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 6.0 in November.

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

New Home Sales, Months of Supply This is now close to normal (less than 6 months supply is normal).
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 158,000. This represents a supply of 6.0 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 59,000 units in November. 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 November 2011 (red column), 22 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). This was the second weakest November since this data has been tracked, and was just above the record low for November of 20 thousand set in 2010. The high for November was 86 thousand in 2005.

New Home Sales, NSAThis was slightly above the consensus forecast of 313 thousand, and just above the record low for the month of November set last year (NSA).

New home sales have averaged only 300 thousand SAAR over the 19 months since the expiration of the tax credit ... mostly moving sideways at a very low level ... although sales have been increasing a little lately.