by Bill McBride on 2/26/2013
NOTE: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testimony Testimony by Chairman Bernanke on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress
Here is the C-Span Link
On New Home Sales:
The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 437 thousand. This was up from a revised 378 thousand SAAR in December (revised up from 369 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 January 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000 … This is 15.6 percent above the revised December rate of 378,000 and is 28.9 percent above the January 2012 estimate of 339,000.”
The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.
The months of supply decreased in January to 4.1 months from 4.8 months in December.
The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009.
“The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 150,000. This represents a supply of 4.1 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.”
Starting in 1973 the Census Bureau broke this down into three categories: Not Started, Under Construction, and Completed.
The inventory of completed homes for sale was just above the record low. The combined total of completed and under construction is also just above the record low.
The last graph shows sales NSA (monthly sales, not seasonally adjusted annual rate).
In January 2013 (red column), 31 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year only 23 thousand homes were sold in January. This was the ninth weakest January since this data has been tracked. The high for January was 92 thousand in 2005.
This was above expectations of 381,000 sales in January. This is the strongest sales rate since 2008. This was another solid report. I’ll have more soon …