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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lawler: Expect "significant" upward revisions for Q2 New Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 7/28/2012 04:37:00 PM

From economist Tom Lawler:

D.R. Horton, the largest US home builder in 2011, reported that net home orders in the quarter ended June 30th, 2012 totaled 6,079, up 24.7% from the comparable quarter of 2011. The company’s sales cancellation rate, expressed as a % of gross orders, was 23% last quarter, down from 27% a year ago. Home deliveries last quarter totaled 4,957, up 8.8% from the comparable quarter of 2011, at an average sales price of $224,975, up 5.2% from a year ago. The company’s order backlog at the end of June was 7,311, up 30.6% from last June.

Standard Pacific Corp., the 13th largest US home builder in 2011, reported that net home orders in the quarter ended June 30th, 2012 (ex JVs) totaled 1,108, up 45.0% from the comparable quarter of 2011. The company’s sales cancellation rate, expressed as a % of gross orders, was 11% last quarter, down from 14% a year ago. Home deliveries totaled 815, up 33.6% from the comparable quarter of 2011, at an average sales price of $337,000, up 0.6% from a year ago. The company’s order backlog at the end of June was 1,266, up 62.1% from last June.

Here are some summary stats of orders, deliveries, and backlog for builders who have reported results for last year.

SettlementsNet OrdersBacklog
6/126/116/106/126/116/106/126/116/10
D.R. Horton4,9574,5556,8056,0794,8744,9217,3115,6004,430
PulteGroup3,8163,6335,0305,5784,2224,2187,5605,7775,644
NVR2,4752,2073,3542,6142,4682,5595,0483,9463,766
The Ryland Group1,1498851,5051,4151,0659592,2891,6461,368
Meritage Homes1,0428561,2071,3539109001,6119941,044
Standard Pacific8156108911,1087647191,266781649
M/I Homes6255907908266356021,168833748
Total14,87913,33619,58218,97314,93814,87826,25319,57717,649
YoY % Change11.6%-31.9%27.0%0.4%34.1%10.9%

Obviously, the net orders of the above builders showed considerably stronger YOY growth than 19.5% (not seasonally adjusted) YOY growth rate for Q2/12 reported in the preliminary Census Bureau’s new SF home sales reports. While Census’ treatment of cancellations differs from the builders’ net orders, and while historical data suggest there may be a timing difference between when a builder records a sale vs. when Census counts a home as sold, these results in my view suggest (based on past relationships) that Census new SF home sales numbers for the second quarter of 2012 will be revised upward significantly — and by about the same about as Q1 sales were revised upward from the March new SF sales report.

CR Note: Back in April, based on public builder reports, Tom Lawler estimated that the Census Bureau would revise up Q1 New Home sales from the then reported 337 thousand SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) to around 350 thousand. In the most recent report, Census has revised up Q1 to 352 thousand.

For Q2, in the most recent new home sales report, the Census Bureau estimated sales at 363 thousand SAAR.  Based on builder reports, Lawler estimates that this will be revised up to around 380 thousand.