May New Residential Single Family Home Sales increased by 7.6%, or 369,000 annualized sales. This monthly percentage change has a ±12.2% error margin.
New single family home sales are now 19.8% above May 2011 levels, but this figure too has a ±15.2% margin of error. A year ago new home sales were 308,000. April's new home sales were 343,000. Sales figures are annualized and represent what the yearly volume would be if just that month's rate were applied to the entire year. These figures are seasonally adjusted.
February through March annualized new home sales were significantly revised and the originally reported 3.3% monthly increase for April is now a decline, -1.2%.
The current supply of new homes on the market would now take 4.7 months to sell, assuming current sales rates, which is a significant decline -6.0%, from last month's 5.1 of inventory The amount of new homes for sale was 145,000 units, annualized and seasonally adjusted. From a year ago housing inventory has declined -28.8%. These is a record low in the supply of new homes for sale, as shown in the below graph.
Below is a graph of the months it would take to sell the new homes on the market at each month's sales rate. We can see these inventories vs. sales times have dropped dramatically.
The median time a house was on the market before it sold was 7.9 months, the same as last month, which was revised.
May's average home sale price was $273,900. April's average new home price was $283,900. Both April and March saw at least 1,000 homes selling above $750,000, which affects the monthly median and average sales prices.
May's median price was $234,500, whereas April's median price was $236,000. Median means half of new homes were sold below this price and both the average and median sales price for single family homes is not seasonally adjusted.
The variance in monthly housing sales statistics is so large, in part, due to the actual volume declining. One needs to look at least a quarter to get a real feel for new home sales, but a year of sales data is more in order. Additionally this report, due to it's huge margin of error, is almost always revised significantly the next month. Buyer beware on month to month comparisons.
What we can say about new homes sales is a bottom does seem to have been hit and we have stabilization, although this monthly report shows glimmers of hope. We caution about going hysterical on monthly numbers for new home sales are often significantly revised and sales volume after the housing bubble burst is low. We list the margins of error for they are usually above the monthly reported percentage changes.
Calculated Risk is a fantastic analysis site on housing data, with comparisons in new home sales to recessionary periods going back back to 1963.
Here is last month's new home sales overview, only graphs revised.