From the U.S. Census Bureau News:
Sales of new one-family houses in October 2006 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,004,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 3.2 percent (±11.2%)* below the revised September rate of 1,037,000, and is 25.4 percent (±10.0%) below the October 2005 estimate of 1,346,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2006 was $248,500; the average sales price was $309,700. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 558,000. This represents a supply of 7.0 months at the current sales rate.
Sales of new homes in the U.S. fell in October, dashing expectations that the worst of the housing slump is over.
Purchases declined 3.2 percent to an annual pace of 1.004 million last month from a 1.037 million rate in September that was lower than previously reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The supply of unsold homes at the current sales pace rose to 7 months’ worth.
“The housing market is far from the bottom, not with the incredibly high inventory of unsold homes,” Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “The Fed is worried that a badly faltering housing market could overturn the economic cart, but as of now that has not happened.”
New-home sales had been expected to decline to a 1.049 million rate from September’s originally reported 1.075 million pace, according to the median of 64 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Estimates ranged from 980,000 to 1.09 million.
The median price of a new home rose 1.9 percent to $248,500 in October from $243,900 a year earlier, today’s report showed.
The number of homes for sale fell to a seasonally adjusted 558,000 during the month, the lowest since March, from 562,000 the prior month. The supply of homes at the current sales rate rose from 6.7 months’ worth in September.