In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Home Sales increase sharply to 504,000 Annual Rate in May

by Calculated Risk on 6/24/2014 10:00:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 504 thousand.

April sales were revised down from 433 thousand to 425 thousand, and March sales were revised up from 407 thousand to 410 thousand.

Sales of new single-family houses in May 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 18.6 percent above the revised April rate of 425,000 and is 16.9 percent above the May 2013 estimate of 431,000.
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.

This is the highest sales rate since May 2008.  Even with the increase in sales over the previous two years, new home sales are still just above the bottom for previous recessions.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

New Home Sales, Months of SupplyThe months of supply decreased in May to 4.5 months from 5.3 months in April.

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 May was 189,000. This represents a supply of 4.5 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 May 2014 (red column), 49 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year 40 thousand homes were also sold in May. The high for May was 120 thousand in 2005, and the low for May was 26 thousand in 2010.

This was well above expectations of 441,000 sales in May, and sales were up 16.9% year-over-year.

I'll have more later today .