New Home Sales Rise, but Prices Looking "Toppy"

News

New home
sales continued their recent pattern of advancing and retreating in alternate
months.  The Census Bureau and Department
of Housing and Urban Development said that sales of newly constructed homes
were on the offense in November, rising 5.2 percent after a 1.9 percent loss in
October.  Sales were estimated at an
annual rate of 592,000 units compared to a rate of 563,000 the previous
month.  The sales report said the October
number was revised, but the revision was apparently lost in rounding.

Sales
continued to outstrip those during the same month in 2015.  The recent number was up 16.5 percent from
the estimated sales of 508,000 a year earlier.

Analysts
had expected November sales to improve on October’s, but they undershot the
mark.  A poll by Econoday found a
consensus of 580,000 units with a range from 570,000 to 600,000.

On a
non-seasonally adjusted basis there were an estimated 41,000 homes sold in
November.  Sales in October were
estimated at 45,000 units.

At the end
of the reporting period there were 253,000 homes available for sale
(unadjusted).  This was an estimated
supply at the current rate of sales of 5.1 months.  Homes sold during the month were marketed for
a median of 3.2 months. Only 14,000 of the 41,000 homes sold during the month
had been completed.

The median
price of a home sold in November was $305,400 and the average was $359,900.  Both numbers were down from a year earlier
when the respective prices were $317,000 and $376,000.

Sales in
the Northeast were unchanged from October but up 22.2 percent on an annual
basis.  Sales jumped by 43.8 percent in
the Midwest, bringing them 39.4 percent higher on an annual basis.

The South
was the only region to decline from the previous month, down 3.2 percent while
remaining 13.4 percent higher year-over-year. 
The West saw sales rise 7.7 percent and 10.8 percent for the two earlier
periods.

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