CR: New Home Sales at 417,000 SAAR in March

New Home Sales at 417,000 SAAR in March

by Bill McBride on 4/23/2013  

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 417 thousand. This was up from 411 thousand SAAR in February.

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 March 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 1.5 percent above the revised February rate of 411,000 and is 18.5 percent above the March 2012 estimate of 352,000.”

New Home SalesClick on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.

The months of supply was unchanged in March at 4.4 months.

The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009.

New Home Sales, Months of Supply This is now in the normal range (less than 6 months supply is normal).

“The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 153,000. This represents a supply of 4.4 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.

New Home Sales, InventoryThis graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.

The inventory of completed homes for sale is 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 March 2013 (red column), 40 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year 34 thousand homes were sold in March. This was the seventh weakest March since this data has been tracked. The high for March was 127 thousand in 2005, and the low for March was 28 thousand in 2011.

New Home Sales, NSA

This was at expectations of 419,000 sales in March, and a fairly solid report.  I’ll have more soon …

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/04/new-home-sales-at-417000-saar-in-march.html#X2gii8fpqgYSU7mZ.99

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