Thursday, January 31, 2019

New Home Sales increased to 657,000 Annual Rate in November

by Calculated Risk on 1/31/2019 10:14:00 AM

Note: This release is for November (this was delayed due to the government shutdown). The December report is not yet rescheduled, but will probably be released soon.

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 657 thousand.

The previous three months were revised up significantly.

"Sales of new single‐family houses in November 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 16.9 percent above the revised October rate of 562,000, but is 7.7 percent below the November 2017 estimate of 712,000."
emphasis added
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 last several years, new home sales are still somewhat low historically.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

New Home Sales, Months of SupplyThe months of supply decreased in November to 6.0 months from 7.0 months in October.

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

This is above the normal range (less than 6 months supply is normal).
"The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 330,000. This represents a supply of 6.0 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 somewhat low, and the combined total of completed and under construction is a little low.

New Home Sales, NSAThe last graph shows sales NSA (monthly sales, not seasonally adjusted annual rate).

In November 2018 (red column), 48 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year, 50 thousand homes were sold in November.

The all time high for November was 86 thousand in 2005, and the all time low for November was 20 thousand in 2010.

This was well above expectations of 560,000 sales SAAR, and the previous months were revised up. I'll have more later today.