New Home Sales in October totaled 368k, 22k less than expected and Sept was revised down by 20k to 369k. Sales were last above 400k in April ’10 when the home buying tax credit goosed results. Sales fell by 10k in the Northeast but its unlikely it captured the storm at the end of the month. Sales also fell in the South but rose in the Midwest and West. With sales down 1k m/o/m and the amount of homes for sale up by 2k, months supply rose a touch to 4.8 from 4.7. The median home price at $237,700, was up 5.7% y/o/y but lower by 4.2% sequentially.
Bottom line, while the housing industry is recovering, new home sales have trended between 360k and 370k for the last 6 months, still 73% below the bubblicious peak in July ’05 and not too far above the trough seen in 1982 and still below the bottom seen in the 1991 recession.
We’ve bottomed in housing and have bounced off that bottom but perspective must be in order considering how far we fell. On one hand, there is plenty of room for continued improvement but on the other, the healing process will take a lot of time and will likely be in fits and starts as recoveries from the aftermath of bubbles typically are.