New Home Sales in July at 298,000 Annual Rate

New Home Sales in July at 298,000 Annual Rate

by CalculatedRisk on 8/23/2011 

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 298 thousand. This was down from a revised 300 thousand in June (revised from 312 thousand).

The first graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions since 1963. The dashed line is the current sales rate.

Sales of new single-family houses in July 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000 … This is 0.7 percent (±12.9%)* below the revised June rate of 300,000, but is 6.8 percent (±13.5%)* above the July 2010 estimate of 279,000.

New Home Sales and RecessionsClick on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

Months of supply was unchanged at 6.6 in July. The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009. This is still higher than normal (less than 6 months supply is normal).

New Home Months of Supply and Recessions

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 165,000. This represents a supply of 6.6 months at the current sales rate.

On 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.”

NHS InventoryStarting in 1973 the Census Bureau broke this down into three categories: Not Started, Under Construction, and Completed.

This graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.

The inventory of completed homes for sale was at 61,000 units in July. The combined total of completed and under construction is at the lowest level since this series started.

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

In July 2011 (red column), 27 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). The record low for July was 26 thousand in 2010 (following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit). The high for July was 117 thousand in 2005.

This was below the consensus forecast of 313 thousand, and was just above the record low for the month of July – and new home sales have averaged only 300 thousand SAAR over the 15 months since the expiration of the tax credit … moving sideways at a very low level.

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