New Residential Home Sales Decline -2.2% in December 2011

In December, New Residential Single Family Home Sales decreased -2.2%, or 307,0000 annualized sales. This report has a ±13.2% monthly margin of error and November single family home sales were significantly revised, from +1.6% to +2.3%. So much for that recovery, new single family home sales are -7.3% below December 2010 levels, which was 331,000 homes. New Home Sales are at a record low, going all the way back to 1963.


New Home Sales


New Home Sales for the entire year, on aggregate, are also at a record low of 302,000 units, going all the way back to 1963.


Annual New Home Sales


Below is the annual percentage change in new home sales by year. This year's drop was -6.2%. While we can see the plunge is over, it appears the decline is not.

Annual New Home Sales percentage change


New Home Sales monthly statistics are seasonally adjusted and reported annualized. They also have large statistical error margins, where the margin of error is outside the actual reported percentages. Weather can influence sales. For example, the error window, (90% deviation), for the change from one year ago is ±16.6%.

The supply of new homes increased slightly by +1.7%, now at 6.1 months, at current sales rates. Inventory has decreased -11.6% from December 2010.


new home inventory


December's average price was $266,000 up +6.3% from November's $250,300. The average home price is still down to November 2003 levels. The average includes those million dollar homes, which registered at least 1,000, over $750,000 for December. The 4 months previous had a statistical zero new homes sold above $750,000. Sell a few McMansions, at these overall sales levels, it boosts the average price.


average new home price


In December, the median price was $210,300, whereas November's median price was $215,700, a monthly percentage decline of -2.5%. The graph below are the monthly median home prices, now around January 2004 levels. This means half of new homes were sold below this price.


median new home price


If one looks at median and average sales prices, they are still out of alignment with wages and salaries, which are flat for over a decade, even with record low mortgage rates.

The median time new homes were for sale was 6.7 months for the month and year. 2010 median time new homes were on the market was 7.9 months.


New Home Sales


The variance in monthly data is so large, all one can say is the volume in new home sales seems to have stabilized to the new normal and inventories are returning to normal.

Calculated Risk is a fantastic analysis site on housing data compares new home sales to recessionary periods and goes back to 1963 in data comparisons.

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