Home/Mortgages, Real Estate/New Home Sales Stall in December

New single-family home sales fell for the second consecutive month according to the latest housing data released by the Census Bureau.

Monthly sales of new single-family homes declined 7.0 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted rate of 414,000, down from a revised sales rate of 445,000 transactions in November. On an unadjusted basis, new home sales were down 12.5 percent from the previous month.

The seasonally adjusted rate of sales in December was 4.5 percent higher than the estimated sales rate of 396,000 units in December of 2012. Sales were virtually unchanged from December of last year on an unadjusted basis.

The median sales price of the new homes sold in December was $270,200, which was up from a revised $268,500 in November. The average sales price for a new home in December was $311,400, down from a revised $334,600 in November.

Sixty-two percent of the new single-family homes sold in December were under $300,000, up from 59 percent in November.

In December of last year, the median sales price of a new home was 4.6 percent lower at $258,300, while the average sales price was 3.9 percent lower at $299,200.

Three of the four national regions posted a decline in seasonally adjusted monthly sales led by a 36.4 percent decline in the Midwest followed by an 8.8 percent loss in the West and a 7.3 percent decline in the South.

The Midwest reported the only increase in sales activity, a gain of 17.6 percent.

Compared to a year ago, three of the four regions showed an improvement in sales with the Midwest posting the largest increase of 26.0 percent followed by the West with a 5.1 percent sales gain and the South with an increase of 4.1 percent.

The Northeast was the only region to show a loss in activity with sales tumbling 27.6 percent.

Inventory declined for the third consecutive month with new single-family homes falling to a seasonally adjusted 171,000 properties available for sale, down from 176,000 the previous month, which translates into a 5.0 months supply of inventory.

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

Census Bureau

Reported by Chris Moore