December 4, 2012 (Chris Moore)
The shrinking inventory of existing homes continued to be good news for the nation’s new home builders as sales in October held fairly steady from the previous month and remained well above last year’s levels according to the latest housing data released by the Census Bureau.
Sales of new single-family homes fell a modest 0.3 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 368,000, down from a revised sales rate of 369,000 in September. On an unadjusted basis, new home sales were unchanged from the previous month.
The rate of sales in October was 17.2 percent higher than the estimated sales rate of 314,000 units in October of 2011. Sales were also 16.0 percent higher than in October of last year on an unadjusted basis. Through the end of October, new home sales are 20.5 percent higher than at the same time last year.
The median sales price of the new homes sold in October was $237,700, which was down from a revised $248,000 in September. The average sales price for a new home in October was $278,900, down from a revised $291,400 in September.
Sixty-nine percent of the new single-family homes sold in October were under $300,000, up from 68 percent in September.
In October of last year, the median sales price of a new home was 5.4 percent lower at $224,700, while the average sales price was 7.4 percent lower at $258,300.
Two of the four national regions posted increases in seasonally adjusted monthly sales led by a 62.2 percent gain in the Midwest, followed by a gain of 8.8 percent in the West.
The Northeast reported the largest decline of 32.3 percent while the South posted a decline in sales of 11.6 percent.
Compared to a year ago, all four of the regions showed improvement with the West posting the largest increase of 33.7 percent followed by the Midwest at 17.6 percent. The Northeast recorded a year-over-year increase of 10.5 percent while the South posted an increase of 9.3 percent.
Inventory of new single-family homes increased to a seasonally adjusted 147,000 homes available for sale, which translates into a 4.8 months supply of inventory, up slightly from a revised 4.7 months supply the previous month.
Tags: Census Bureau, new home sales, single-family homes, median sales price, average sales price