New Home Sales Fall 0.9% in January


New home sales in January were at a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 321,000, a decrease of 0.9 percent from the upwardly revised December
rate of 324,000.  The December pace of new
home sales was originally estimated at 307,000. 
Estimated sales in January were at a rate 3.5 percent higher than one
year earlier when sales were running at 310,000 units.   The
U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development released
the numbers Friday.

An estimated 22,000 new homes were sold during January.  About half (10,000 homes) were completed when
sold; the remaining 12,000 were equally divided between homes under
construction and homes for which construction had not yet begun.  These numbers have been virtually unchanged
since November and are nearly identical to those in January 2011.  Homes that sold in January had been on the
market a median of 7.1 months.

There were 151,000 homes for sale at the end of the period,
57,000 of which are standing completed.   One year ago there were 185,000 new homes on
the market.  The inventory of new homes
available for sale nationwide represents a 5.6 month supply compared to a 5.7
month supply in December and a 7.2 month supply in January 2011.

Sales were mixed on a regional basis with strong monthly increases
of 11.1 percent and 9.3 percent in the Northeast and the South while the
Midwest was down 24.5 percent and the West fell 10.6 percent.  Year-over-year changes were also varied with
the Northeast down 39.4 percent compared to January 2011 and the Midwest
posting a -11.9 percent change.  Sales in
the South improved by 15.3 percent and in the West by 5.6 percent.

The median price of new homes sold in January was $217,100
and the average was $261,600 compared to median and average prices of $240,100
and $275,700 in January of 2011. 

New Home Sales Data

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