December New Home Sales

From Reuters:

Dec new home sales climb; record sales in 2005

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):

New Residential Sales December 2005

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
Aug $240,100
Sep $240,400
Oct $237,500
Nov $226,800
Dec $221,800

U.S. Average Sales Price
Dec ’04 $284,300
Aug $295,000
Sep $299,600
Oct $291,400
Nov $286,000
Dec $272,900

Caveat Emptor!

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47 Responses to December New Home Sales

  1. NJGal says:

    I feel like I can no longer follow this nonsense. There is absolutely no consistency…why did these sales rise while existing sales were down? I just don’t get this market at all.

    Are there that many new homes in the Northeast? Are most of them condos?

  2. Richard says:

    i don’t care about historical sales numbers. the news outlets keep touting the annual record pace. so what? the more relevant number for those buying and selling is year over year % changes (if seasonally adjusted) and prior month % changes as compared to prior years.

  3. xSparta says:

    It might be what’s in the “Pipeline”. Most builders want to complete started units. Unfinished units are a bigger burden than not sold. In the South it takes about 12 months to complete a house , condo buildings a lot longer. So I would think a little longer to see a downturn. A better indication of future housing starts is “Building Permits” but I did not see any of the numbers.

  4. RentinginNJ says:


    The homebuilders are not stupid. They know the party is just about over. They have already adopted “down market” strategies such as aggressively advertising their homes, using marketing gimmicks (used car dealer style blowout sales), offering all sorts of incentives and reducing prices. Hence sales climb, while prices fall. Better a small reduction today than a big one tomorrow. No surprise really. Here in the northeast where the homebuilders haven’t gotten aggressive yet, sales dropped by 21%

    Existing home sales have dropped because sellers are still in denial. They would be well served to take a hint from the homebuilders. Take a small hit today or get crushed tomorrow.

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