Another month, another disasterous housing data point:
Sales of new one-family houses in April 2009 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 352,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.3 percent (±14.5%)* above the revised March rate of 351,000, but is 34.0 percent (±11.0%) below the April 2008 estimate of 533,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2009 was $209,700; the average sales price was $254,000. Median prices of a new home decreased 14.9%
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 297,000. This represents a supply of 10.1 months at the current sales rate.
Note (once again) that the monthly data is statistical noise at 0.3% with a ±14.5% margin of error; the annual fall of 34% is statistically significant versus 11% error).
The usual headlines got it wrong:
• Bloomberg: New-Home Sales in U.S. Climbed 0.3% to 352,000 Pace
• Marketwatch: Home sales up a paltry 0.3%
• Reuters: US new home sales rose 0.3 percent in April
• Associated Press: April new home sales inch upward• WSJ: New-Home Sales Rise as Prices Tumble
No, we cannot accurately state that home sales went up in April 2009. Yes, we do know that sales fell (between 23% and 45%) year over year.
Note the Non-seasonally adjusted pattern is typical; the sales data follows the historical trend.
Bottom line: Yet another bad RE number.
via Calculated Risk
NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES IN APRIL 2009
Manufacturing and Construction Division
MAY 28, 2009 AT 10:00 A.M. EDT http://www.census.gov/const/newressales.pdf
New-Home Sales in U.S. Climbed 0.3% to 352,000 Pace
Bloomberg, May 28 2009