Sales of new U.S. homes expectedly rose 2.9 percent in December as mortgage rates dipped, but home prices fell for a third month and the number of houses on the market hit a record, according to a government report on Friday.
Wall Street economists had expected sales to slow slightly in December to a 1.225 million unit pace.
While sales rose in December, the inventory and price data suggested some cooling in the housing market.
The number of new homes on the market at the end of December climbed 2.4 percent to 516,000, marking a new high. At the current sales pace, that represented 4.9 months’ supply.
Here is a link to the dataset (warning, it’s in Excel format):
Sales in the Northeast dropped a staggering 23.3% in December. However realize these numbers are subject to large revisions as well as subject to high levels of error.
Median Home prices have been falling rather dramatically, in fact, the December 2005 Median Home Price of $221,800 is below the December 2004 price of $229,600.
U.S. Median Sales Price
Dec ’04 $229,600
U.S. Average Sales Price
Dec ’04 $284,300