New Home Sales In Midwest Rise Over Ten Percent In March From Year Ago

New home sales in the midwest region of the U.S. during March rose 10.3 percent from March 2015, according to a report just released by the US Census Bureau.  In March 2016, new homes were sold in the Midwest at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 64,000 new homes, an increase of 18.5 percent from February, when the rate was 54,000 homes and a 10.3 percent increase from March 2015 when the rate of new home sales in the midwest was 58,000 homes annually.

 

On a national level, new homes sales in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 511,000 homes, down 1.5% from February and up just 5.4% from a year ago.

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New Home Sales In Midwest Decline In November

New home sales in the U.S. in November rose 9.1 percent from a year ago, and increased 4.3 percent from the month before, according to a report just released by the U.S. Commerce Department.  In the midwest region however, new home sales slid in November, falling 8.6% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 53,000 homes from 58,000 the month before and decreasing 10.2 percent from November 2014 when new home sales in the midwest were at an annual rate of 59,000 homes.

 

 

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New Home Sales In Midwest Declines For Second Consecutive Month

New home sales in the U.S. in September lost some steam declining 11.5 percent from August, however, let’s not forget, August was a record month for U.S. New Home Sales which sold at the highest annual rate since February of 2008, according to a report just released by the U.S. Commerce Department.  New homes sold in September at a seasonally-adjusted, annual-rate, of 468,000 homes, a decrease of  11.5 percent from the month before an an increase of 2.0 percent from September 2014 when new homes sold at an annual rate of 459,000 homes.

Midwest New Home Sales Fall For Second Month in a Row..

Here in the midwest region, new homes sold in September at a seasonally-adjusted, annual-rate, of 55,000 homes, a decline of 8.3 percent from August and also a decline 8.3 percent from September 2014 when new homes sold in the Midwest region at a rate of 60,000 homes per year.

The new home supply in the United States increased in September 18.4 percent to 5.8 months from a 4.9 month supply the month before and increased 5.5 percent from September 2014 when there was a 5.5 month supply.

New home prices rose 2.6% in September to a median price of $296,900 from $289,100 the month before and is 13.5% higher than a year ago when the median price of new homes sold in the U.S. was $261,500.

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New Home Sales Slip In June In The Midwest

New home sales in the midwest slipped in June to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 56,000 homes, a decline of 11.1 percent from the month before when sales were at a rate of 63,000 homes, according to a report just released by the U.S. Commerce Department.  Even though new home sales cooled off in June, the pace for June was still 5.7 percent higher than June 2014 when new home sales came in at a rate of 53,000 homes.

The new home supply in the midwest increased in June 12.5 percent to 5.4 months from a 4.8 month supply the month before, however this marks a decline of 6.9 percent from June 2014 when there was a 5.8 month supply.

New home prices increased slightly in June, from the month before, to a median price of $281,800 however were down 1.8% from June 2014 when the median new home price in the midwest was $287,000.

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New Home Sales in Midwest During April Increase 20 Percent From Year Ago

New home sales here in the midwest region of the U.S. occurred in April at an adjusted annual rate of 78,000 homes, an increase of 36.8 percent from the month before when new home sales activity was at the rate of 57,000 homes per year and an increase of 20 percent from April 2014 when new homes were selling at the rate of 65,000 homes a year, according to data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD.

New home inventory is down…

According to the report, in April 2015, there was a 4.8 month supply of new homes for sale in the U.S., a decline of 5.9% from the month before and a decline of 14.3% from a year ago when there was a 5.6 month supply.

New home sales prices increased over 8%…

The median price of new homes sold in the U.S. during April 2015 was $297,300, an increase of 8.3% from a year ago when the median price was $274,500.

 

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New Home Sales In The Midwest Spike In February

New home sales in the midwest region of the U.S. shot up 36.7 percent in February from the month before and was up 1.5 percent from February 2013, according to a report just released by the U.S. Commerce Department.  New home sales in the Midwest were at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 67,000 homes, up from a rate of 49,000 homes the month before and up slightly from a year ago when new homes in the midwest were selling at at a rate of 66,000 homes per year.

Actual new home sales in the midwest for the first two months of this year are lagging behind this time last year however, with 8,000 new homes sold in the first two months of 2014, down about 11% from the same time last year when there were 9,000 new home sales year-to-date in the midwest.

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New home sales soar in June

New home salesNew home sales soared in June to an annual rate of 497,000 homes, the highest level in 5 years, according to data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD.  New homes were sold in June at a rate that is 8.3 percent higher than the month before and 38.1 percent higher than June 2012 when new homes were sold at the rate of 360,000 homes a year.

New homes sold in the month of June 2013 were sold for a median price of $249,700, a decrease of 5 percent from the month before and an increase of 7.3 percent from a year ago when the median new home sales price was $232,600.

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New home sales increase again in May;   Inventory continues to decline

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-real-estate-new-home-salesToday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for May 2012 showing an increase of 7.6 percent from the month before, and an increase of 19.8 percent from a year ago. The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for May was 369,000 homes, up from a revised rate of 343,000 homes the month before. The supply of new homes on the market decreased to a 4.7 month supply from a revised 5.0 months the month before. The median new home price decreased slightly to $234,500 from a revised median price of $236,000 the month before and increased 5.6 percent from a year ago when the median new home price was $222,000. Continue reading “New home sales increase again in May;   Inventory continues to decline

New home sales and prices on the rise in April

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-real-estate-new-home-salesToday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for April 2012 showing an increase of 3.3 percent from the month before, and an increase of 9.9 percent from a year ago. The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for April was 343,000 homes, up from a revised rate of 332,000 homes the month before. The supply of new homes on the market decreased to a 5.1 month supply from a revised 5.2 months the month before. The median new home price increased slightly to $235,700 from a revised median price of $234,000 the month before and increased 4.4 percentfrom a year ago when the median new home price was $224,700.

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Continue reading “New home sales and prices on the rise in April

New home sales and prices slip in March; both still better than a year ago

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-real-estate-new-home-salesToday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data forMarch 2012 showing a decrease of 7.1 percent from the month before, and an increase of 7.5 percent from a year ago. The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for March was 328,000 homes, down from a revised rate of 353,000 homes the month before. It’s worth noting that February’s sales were originally reported by the Commerce Department to be 313,000, so the revision to 353,000 was significant.  So, in the end, March may not look so bad either if the revised numbers follow suit with the month before. Continue reading “New home sales and prices slip in March; both still better than a year ago

New home sales decline slightly in January; Inventory of new homes to lowest level in over a year

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-real-estate-new-home-salesToday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for January 2012 showing a decrease of 0.9 percent from the month before, and an increase of 3.5 percent from a year ago. The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for January was 321,000 homes, down from an adjusted rate of 324,000 homes the month before. This is the first month new home sales have declined after four consecutive months of increases. Continue reading “New home sales decline slightly in January; Inventory of new homes to lowest level in over a year

New home sales tick up in September but still on track to be worst year ever

Dennis Norman, St Louis Realtor, New Home SalesToday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for September 2011 showing an increase of 5.7 percent from the month before, and a decrease of 0.9 percent from a year ago. The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for September was 313,000 homes, up from an adjusted rate of 296,000 the month before. Unfortunately, even with the increase in the rate of new home sales, the current rate of new home sales is still on track to make 2011 new home sales the lowest since the Commerce Department began keeping track of sales in 1963. Continue reading “New home sales tick up in September but still on track to be worst year ever

New home sales drops in August and remains on track to finish year at record low

Dennis Norman, St Louis Realtor, New Home SalesToday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for August 2011 showing a decrease of 2.3 percent from the month before, and an increase of 6.1 percent from a year ago. The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for August was 295,000 homes, down from an adjusted rate of 302,000 the month before and is a rate that if we finish 2011 at will make 2011 new home sales the lowest since the Commerce Department began keeping track of sales in 1963. Continue reading “New home sales drops in August and remains on track to finish year at record low

New home sales drop again in July; 2011 new home sales continue on track to be worst year ever

Dennis Norman, St Louis Realtor, New Home SalesToday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for July 2011 showing a decrease of 0.7 percent from the month before, and an increase of 6.8 percent from a year ago. The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for July was 298,000 homes, down from an adjusted rate of 300,000 the month before and is a rate that if we finish 2011 at will make 2011 new home sales the lowest since the Commerce Department began keeping track of sales in 1963. Continue reading “New home sales drop again in July; 2011 new home sales continue on track to be worst year ever

New home sales drop in June; 2011 new home sales on track to be worst year ever

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for June 2011 showing a decrease of 1.0 percent from the month before, and an increase of 1.6 percent from a year ago. The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for June was 312,000 homes, down from 315,000 the month before and is a rate that if we finish 2011 at will make 2011 new home sales the lowest since the Commerce Department began keeping track of sales in 1963. Continue reading “New home sales drop in June; 2011 new home sales on track to be worst year ever

New home sales decline in May; Up over 15 percent from year before

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for May 2011 showing a decrease of 2.1 percent from the month before, and an increase of 13.5 percent from a year ago.

The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for May was 319,000 homes, down from 326,000 the month before. The supply of new homes on the market decreased from an adjusted 6.3 month supply the month before to a 6.2 month supply in May. The median new home price increased for the month to $222,600, a 2.6 percent increase from a revised median price of $217,000 the month before and a decrease of 3.4 percent from a year ago. Continue reading “New home sales decline in May; Up over 15 percent from year before

New home sales and prices increase in April; still down over 23 percent from a year ago

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for April 2011 showing an increase of 7.3 percent from the month before, and a decrease of 23.1 percent from a year ago.

The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for April was 323,000 homes. The supply of new homes on the market decreased from an adjusted 7.2 month supply the month before to a 6.5 month supply in April. The median new home price increased for the month to $217,900, a 1.6 percent increase from a revised median price of $214,500 the month before and an increase of 4.6 percent from a year ago. Continue reading “New home sales and prices increase in April; still down over 23 percent from a year ago

New home sales and prices increase in March

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for March 2011 showing an increase of 11.1 percent from the month before, and a decrease of 21.9 percent from a year ago.

The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for March was 300,000 homes. The supply of new homes on the market decreased from an adjusted 8.2 month supply the month before to a 7.3 month supply in March. The median new home price increased for the month to $213,800, a 2.9 percent increase from a revised median price of $207,700 the month before and a decrease of 4.9 percent from a year ago. Continue reading “New home sales and prices increase in March

New home sales plummet in February, prices fall as well

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for February 2011 showing a decrease of 16.9 percent from the month before, and a decrease of 28.0 percent from a year ago.

The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for February was 250,000 homes. The supply of new homes on the market increased from an adjusted 7.4 month supply the month before to a 8.9 month supply in February. The median new home price decreased for the month to $202,100, a 13.9 percent decrease from a revised median price of $234,800 the month before and a decrease of 8.9 percent from a year ago. Continue reading “New home sales plummet in February, prices fall as well

New home sales fall in January…down over 18 percent from a year ago

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for January 2011 showing a decrease of 12.6 percent from the month before, and a decrease of 18.6 percent from a year ago.

The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for January was 284,000 homes. The supply of new homes on the market increased from an adjusted 7.0 month supply in December to a 7.9 month supply in January. The median new home price decreased for the month to $230,600 a 1.8 percent decrease from a revised median price of $235,000 the month before and an increase of 5.7 percent from a year ago. Continue reading “New home sales fall in January…down over 18 percent from a year ago

New home sales close out 2010 on the rise; predicting increased sales in 2011

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for December 2010 showing an increase of 17.5 percent from the month before, but a decrease of 7.6 percent from a year ago.

The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for December was 329,000 homes, a 17.5 percent increase from November’s revised rate of 280,000 homes. The supply of new homes on the market decreased from an adjusted 8.4 month supply in November to a 6.9 month supply in December. The median new home price increased for the month to $241,500 whopping 12.0 percent increase from $215,500 the month before and an increase of 8.5 percent from a year ago. Continue reading “New home sales close out 2010 on the rise; predicting increased sales in 2011

New home sales and prices increase in November

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for November 2010 showing an increase of 5.50 percent from the month before, but a decrease of 21.2 percent from a year ago.

The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for November was 290,000 homes, a 5.5 percent increase from October’s revised rate of 275,000 homes. The supply of new homes on the market decreased from an adjusted 8.8 month supply in October to a 8.2 month supply in November. The median new home price increased for the month to $213,000 from $197,200 the month before and down from $218,800 a year ago. Continue reading “New home sales and prices increase in November

New home sales fall in October; Down 30 percent from year before

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for October 2010 showing a decrease of 8.1 percent from the month before, but a decrease of 28.5 percent from a year ago.

The seasonally-adjusted new home sales rate for October was 283,000 homes, a 8.1 percent decrease from Septbmer’s rate of 308,000 homes. The supply of new homes on the market increase from an adjusted 7.9 month supply in September to a 8.6 month supply in October. The median new home price decreased for the month to $194,900 from $226,300 the month before and down from $215,100 a year ago. Continue reading “New home sales fall in October; Down 30 percent from year before

New home sales rate up over six percent in September; down over 20 percent from year before

Dennis Norman

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau released new home sales data for September 2010 showing an increase of 6.6 percent from the month before, but a decrease of 21.5 percent from a year ago.

Continue reading “New home sales rate up over six percent in September; down over 20 percent from year before

No Improvement in New Home Sales in August

Dennis Norman

Last month I reported that July’s new home sales rate of 276,000 homes was the lowest rate on record.  Subsequently the Commerce Department revised July and changed the sales rate to 288,000 homes raising July to the second-lowest home sales rate on record.  Today, the numbers for August came out and they are no better….the new home sales rate for August is being reported by the Commerce Department as 288,000 homes, the same as July. Continue reading “No Improvement in New Home Sales in August

New Home Sales In July Drop to All-Time Low

Dennis Norman

The good news is May’s new home sales rate of 267,000, which was the lowest sales rate on record, was revised upward to 281,000. The bad news is June’s sales rate of 330,000 was revised downward to 315,000 and now new home sales for July were reported at 276,000 the new lowest rate on record. Due to the dismal sales, the inventory of new homes on the market increased from an 8 month supply in June to a 9.1 month supply in July.

Continue reading “New Home Sales In July Drop to All-Time Low

New Home Sales Increase 23 percent to Second-Worst Rate on Record

Dennis Norman

Yes, the headline is correct….New home sales in June were up 23 percent from May, but unfortunately the revised May annual new home sales rate of 267,000 was the lowest rate of sale on record therefore even after a 23.6 percent increase it only brought June up to 330,000 new homes, a rate that is now the second lowest new home sales rate on record. June’s new home sales rate is 16.7 percent below a year ago.

There is some good news in the report; the inventory of new homes (seasonally adjusted) at the end of June is 7.6 months, a 20.8 percent decrease from May’s revised inventory of 9.5 months and is a 10.6 percent decrease from June 2009 when the inventory was 8.5 months.

My Mantra

As has been my long-running mantra, I don’t like “seasonally adjusted” numbers and “rate” of sales. Why, for one I can’t figure out how in the world they compute the numbers. Second, I just don’t think discussing New Home Sales September 2009the “rate” of new home sales paints a realistic picture of the market. I think this holds especially true when we have artificial forces affecting the housing market such as tax credits as we have seen what an artificial “bubble” in the market this can cause.

Here is the raw data, the ACTUAL new homes sold- no fluff, no “adjusting”

  • 30,000 new homes sold in June, an increase of 15.4 percent from May’s 26,000 new homes sold (revised) but is an 18.9 percent decrease from June 2009 when there were 37,000 new homes sold.
    • 53.3 percent (16,000) of the new homes sold were in the South region- an increase of 23.0 percent from May.
    • the west region had 5,000 new homes sold, a decrease of 16.7 percent from May’s revised sales.
    • the Midwest had 5,000 new homes sold, an increase of 25.0 percent from May.
    • The Northeast had 4,000 new homes sold, an increase of 33.3 percent from May.
  • YTD – In the first six months of 2010 there have been 183,000 new homes sold, a decrease of 2.7 percent from the same time last year.
  • Median sale price of new homes in the US in June was $213,400, a 1.4 percent decrease from May’s median new home price of $216,400 and 0.6 percent decrease from a year ago when the median new home price was $214,700.
  • New Homes in the US in May have been for sale for a median time of 12.4 months since the homes were completed, a 12 percent decrease from May’s revised figure of 14.1 months.

My prediction for 2010

I’m encouraged by indications of some price stability we are seeing as well as decreasing inventory of new homes. I’m concerned about the new home permits and starts as they appear to be greatly outpacing sales and could lead to increased inventories and I’m also concerned about the underlying economy and general anemic behavior of the real estate market. Clearly this market is not going to fix itself overnight, nor this year even. However, having said that, I’m going to stick with, what I think is perhaps somewhat optimistic, prediction of 336,600 – 355,000 new home sales in 2010.

New-Home Sales Crash In May after Sugar-Rush of Tax Credit Sales

Dennis Norman

Last month after the new home sales reports came out I had this to say:

“I’m very encouraged by home sales in March and April, both in new homes and existing home sales and, if it wasn’t for the fact the homebuyer tax-credit incentive expired April 30th, no doubt a factor that caused buyers to rush to buy, I would feel the market was turning. However, I have strong concerns that this recent “housing recovery” is the result of an artificial market created by incentives, leading to sort of a “sugar-rush” among homebuyers, and now that the sugar is wearing off, buyers will slow down.”

Unfortunately, my concerns were warranted it appears….Today The U.S. Department of Commerce released a report showing the sale of New Homes in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000, a 32.7 percent decrease from the revised April rate of 446,000 and is 18.3 percent below a year ago.

The inventory of new homes (seasonally adjusted) at the end of May is 8.5 months almost a 47 percent increase from April when there was a 5.8 month supply.

My Mantra

As has been my long-running mantra, I don’t like “seasonally adjusted” numbers and “rate” of sales. Why, for one I can’t figure out how in the world they compute the numbers. Second, I just don’t think discussing New Home Sales September 2009the “rate” of new home sales paints a realistic picture of the market. I think this holds especially true when we have artificial forces affecting the housing market such as tax credits as we have seen what an artificial “bubble” in the market this can cause.

Here is the raw data, the ACTUAL new homes sold- no fluff, no “adjusting”

  • 28,000 new homes sold in May, a decrease of 36.4 percent from April’s 44,000 new homes sold and also a 17.6 percent decrease from May 2009 when there were 34,000 new homes sold.
    • 53.5 percent (15,000) of the new homes sold were in the South region- a decrease of 34.8 percent from April.
    • the west region had 5,000 new homes sold, a decrease of 50.0 percent from April
    • the Midwest had 5,000 new homes sold, a decrease of 16.7 percent from April.
    • The Northeast had 3,000 new homes sold, a decrease of 25.0 percent from April.
  • YTD – In the first four months of 2010 there have been 159,000 new homes sold, an increase of 6.0 percent from the same time last year.
  • Median sale price of new homes in the US in May was $200,900, a 0.9 percent decrease from April’s median new home price of $202,900 and a 9.6 percent decrease from a year ago when the median new home price was $222,300.
  • New Homes in the US in May have been for sale for a median time of 14.2 months since the homes were completed, slightly less than April’s revised figure of 14.3 months.

My prediction for 2010

I think this report shows that the housing market is still quite volatile, particularly new home sales, and consumers are still quite cautious. May is normally a good month for home sales and, as this report shows, sales have languished this month. Granted, some of the buyers that would normally be buying now may have pushed up the time-line to get the credits, so this may just be a lull from that, and YTD home sales are running slightly ahead of last year, so the sales numbers for June and July are going to reveal a lot. If new home sales for those months pops back up to the 37,000 – 38,000 range like they were last time last year then that would be encouraging and a sign the new home market is stabilizing. However, if new home sales for those months stay in the 20 something thousand range like May, then I think we are in for more pain.

As far as my prediction for new home sales this year I’m going to stick with my estimate of 336,600 – 355,000 new home sales in 2010.

Tax Credit Deadline Spurs New Home Sales in April; Prices Drop

Dennis Norman

The U.S. Department of Commerce released a report showing the sale of New Homes in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, a 14.8 percent increase from the revised March  rate of 439,000 and is 47.8 percent above a year ago.
The inventory of new homes (seasonally adjusted) at the end of April is just 5.0 months a huge decline from just two months ago when it was 9.2 months.

My Mantra

As has been my long-running mantra, I don’t like “seasonally adjusted” numbers and “rate” of sales (nor does Standard & Poors, publisher of the Case/Shiller Index, now either as I wrote about). Why, for one I can’t figure out how in the world they compute the numbers. Second, I just don’t think discussing New Home Sales September 2009the “rate” of new home sales paints a realistic picture of the market. I think this holds especially true when we have artificial forces affecting the housing market such as tax credits and other incentives. This can create unseasonal bursts or declines in sales that don’t really have anything to do with the underlying fundamentals of the housing market.

Here is the raw data, the ACTUAL new homes sold- no fluff, no “adjusting”

  • 48,000 new homes sold in April, an increase of 23.1 percent from March’s 39,000 new homes sold and also a whopping 50.0 percent increase from April 2009 when there were 32,000 new homes sold.
    • 54.1 percent (26,000) of the new homes sold were in the South region- an increase of 23.8 percent from March.
    • the west region had 11,000 new homes sold, an increase of 22.2 percent from March
    • the Midwest had 7,000 new homes sold, an increase of 40.0 percent from March.
    • The Northeast had 4,000 new homes sold, an increase of 33.3 percent from March.
  • YTD – In the first four months of 2010 there have been 137,000 new homes sold, an increase of 18.1 percent from the same time last year.
  • Median sale price of new homes in the US in April was $198,400, a 9.7 percent decrease from March’s median new home price of $219,600 and a 9.5 percent decrease from a year ago when the median new home price was $219,200.
  • New Homes in the US in April have been for sale for a median time of 14.3 months since the homes were completed, slightly less than March’s revised figure of 14.5 months.

My prediction for 2010

I’m very encouraged by home sales in March and April, both in new homes and existing home sales and, if it wasn’t for the fact the homebuyer tax-credit incentive expired April 30th, no doubt a factor that caused buyers to rush to buy, I would feel the market was turning. However, I have strong concerns that this recent “housing recovery” is the result of an artificial market created by incentives, leading to sort of a “sugar-rush” among homebuyers, and now that the sugar is wearing off, buyers will slow down.

Additionally, the report yesterday about home prices dropping in first quarter (not to mention this months new home sales report showing falling prices) and today’s report about the lowest rate of home-purchase mortgage applications since 1997 tells me we are going to see lower new and existing home sales numbers in the coming months.

As far as my prediction for new home sales this year I’m going to stick with my estimate of 336,600 – 355,000 new home sales in 2010.

New Home Sales Spike in March – Market Showing Signs of Stabilizing

Dennis Norman

The U.S. Department of Commerce released a report showing the sale of New Homes in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000, a 26.9 percent increase from the revised February rate of 324,000 and is 23.8 percent above a year ago.
The inventory of new homes (seasonally adjusted) at the end of March is 6.7 months a huge decline from February’s 9.2 month supply.

My Mantra

As has been my long-running mantra, I don’t like “seasonally adjusted” numbers and “rate” of sales (nor does Standard & Poors, publisher of the Case/Shiller Index, now either as I wrote about). Why, for one I can’t figure out how in the world they compute the numbers. Second, I just don’t think discussing New Home Sales September 2009the “rate” of new home sales paints a realistic picture of the market. I think this holds especially true when we have artificial forces affecting the housing market such as tax credits and other incentives. This can create unseasonal bursts or declines in sales that don’t really have anything to do with the underlying fundamentals of the housing market.

Here is the raw data, the ACTUAL new homes sold- no fluff, no “adjusting”

  • 38,000 new homes sold in March, a jaw-dropping increase of 52.0 percent from February’s 25,000 new homes sold and also a 22.6 percent increase from March 2009 when there were 31,000 new homes sold.
    • 55.2 percent (21,000) of the new homes sold were in the South region- an increase of 75 percent from February.
    • the west region had 9,000 new homes sold, an increase of 28.5 percent from February
    • the Midwest had 4,000 new homes sold, the same as February.
    • The Northeast had 3,000 new homes sold, a 50 percent increase from February.
  • YTD – In the first three months of 2010 there have been 87,000 new homes sold, an increase of 3.6 percent from the same time last year.
  • Median sale price of new homes in the US in March was $214,000, a 2.9 percent increase from February’s median new home price of $220,500 and a 4.3 percent increase from a year ago when the median new home price was $205,100.
  • New Homes in the US in March have been for sale for a median time of 14.4 months since the homes were completed, the same as last month. This is the first month this number has not increased.

My prediction for 2010

I’ve been pretty negative on the new home market, but after seeing the big upswing in existing home sales yesterday and then these encouraging numbers for new home sales today, I’m feeling a little better. Things are definitely pointed the right direction and I feel we may be seeing a stabilizing of the housing market as well as new home supply and demand trying to find an equilibrium.

I do think however we should all have “cautious optimism” as almost half of March’s home sales were first time home buyers who could be racing to beat the April 30th deadline to buy. My guess is we will see pretty good sales numbers in April as well, then the next couple of months beyond that will tell us if the market truly has any staying power or if it was just the “sugar-rush” of the tax-credits that boosted the market.

As far as my prediction for new home sales this year I’m going to stick with my estimate of 336,600 – 355,000 new home sales in 2010.