Home/Mortgages/New Home Sales Fall From December but Up Slightly from Last Year

February 24, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Monthly sales of new single-family homes continued to be anemic in January with sales declining from December but slightly higher than in January 2011 according to the latest housing data released by the Census Bureau.

Sales of new single-family homes declined 0.9 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted rate of 321,000, down from a revised rate of 324,000 in December. The seasonally adjusted rate in December was revised upward from 314,000.

The rate of sales in January was 3.5 percent higher than the estimated sales rate of 310,000 units in January of 2011.

In 2011, sales of new single-family homes were the worse on record with a total of 312,000 new homes sold, 11,000 less than the 323,000 homes sold in 2010, which had previously been the worst year for new home sales.

The median sales price of the new homes sold in January was $217,100, which was up from a revised $216,500 in December. The average sales price for a new home in January was $261,600, down from a revised $264,900 in December.

Seventy-four percent of the new single-family homes sold in January were under $300,000, up from 71 percent in December.

In January of last year, the median sales price of a new home was 10.6 percent higher at $240,100, while the average sales price was 5.4 percent higher at $275,700.

Two of the four regions posted increases in seasonally adjusted monthly sales with the Northeast and the South posting gains of 11.1 and 9.3 percent, respectively, while the Midwest and the West posted declines of 24.5 and 10.6 percent, respectively.

Compared to a year ago, new home sales in the West and the South increased 5.6 and 15.3 percent, respectively, while in the Northeast and the Midwest, sales declined by 39.4 and 11.9 percent, respectively.

Inventory of new single-family homes remained relatively balanced by historic standards with a seasonally adjusted 151,000 homes available for sale, which translates into a 5.6 months supply of inventory.

Tags: Census Bureau, new home sales, single-family homes, median sales price, average sales price

Census Bureau