New Home Inventory Declines

The Census Bureau reported that New Home Sales for October 2009:

Sales of new one-family houses in October 2009 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This is 6.2% (±17.6%)* above the revised September rate of 405,000 and is 5.1%  (±14.9%)* above the October 2008 estimate of 409,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2009 was $212,200; the average sales price was $261,100. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 239,000. This represents a supply of 6.7 months at the current sales rate.

The standard disclaimers apply to this data point: Both the monthly and the annual data are below the margin of error.  Monthly data was reported as +6.2%, +/- 17.6% (whoops!). Annually, sales improved 5.1% +/- 14.9%.

As Pete points out, all of the gains were in the South.

Assuming that the number turns out to be actually positive (something we cannot know for sure now), this will be the first year over year gain in new Home Sales since the market peaked in 2005.

The other decent news: Inventory is down significantly from the highs of 12.4 months supply to 6.7 in October.

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NHSOctNSA

Chart courtesy of Calculated Risk

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There are some improvements in this report, but New Homes, which have been competing with foreclosures, likely have a ways to go before we can call this market healthy.

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Source:
NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES IN OCTOBER 2009
The Census Bureau
http://www.census.gov/const/newressales.pdf

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