Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Home Sales increase to 504,000 Annual Rate in August, Highest Sales Rate since May 2008

by Calculated Risk on 9/24/2014 10:00:00 AM

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

July sales were revised up from 412 thousand to 427 thousand, and June sales were revised down from 422 thousand to 419 thousand.

"Sales of new single-family houses in August 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 18.0 percent above the revised July rate of 427,000 and is 33.0 percent above the August 2013 estimate of 379,000."
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.

Even with the increase in sales over the previous two years, new home sales are still close to 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 August to 4.8 months from 5.6 months in July.

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 August was 203,000. This represents a supply of 4.8 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 August 2014 (red column), 41 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year 31 thousand homes were also sold in August.  This was the best August since 2007.

The high for August was 110 thousand in 2005, and the low for August was 23 thousand in 2010.

This was well above expectations of 430,000 sales in August, and sales were up 33.0% year-over-year.

I'll have more later today.