New Home Sales Rise Marginally But Prices Fall – New homes sales in November rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 315,000 according to data released today by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is a 1.6 percent increase from the upwardly revised estimate for October sales of 310,000 and 9.7 percent above the 287,000 pace of new home sales in November 2010. An estimated 22,000 new homes sold during the month.
Regionally, sales in the Northeast fell 26.3 percent, the largest decline among the 4 regions reported.
The Western region slumped 16.9 pct. while the Midwest improved by 7.5 pct. and the South by 12.9 pct.
There was a record low 158,000 homes for sale at the end of the October, slightly lower than October’s downwardly revised 160,000, representing the lowest months of supply at the current sales pace at 6.0. An estimated 196,000new homes were for sale one year earlier, an 8.2 months’ supply. Of the 158,000 available homes, construction has not yet begun on 27,000, while 73,000 are under construction, and 59,000 are completed, all 1000 units less than last month’s report. Homes that sold during November were on the market a median of 7.4 months, the same as October and down from a revised 7.8 months in September.
The median sales price of new homes in November was $214,100 and the average was $242,900, both lower than October’s revised $222,600 and $253,200 respectively, and the lowest median sale price since October 2010’s $204,200. As is perennially the case, the report is subject to a sampling error so wide that there’s no way to know how well it might or might not speak to a housing recovery. The data is underwhelming at best and not a market mover this morning.