The numbers are in: Sales of new single-family houses in August 2016 came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 609,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rate was 7.6% below the revised July rate of 659,000 but 20.6% above the August 2015 estimate of 505,000. It also was above the consensus Wall Street estimate, per Bloomberg, of 598,000, and, per The Wall Street Journal, of 602,000.
The west was the only region to post a month-to-month gain, specifically 8% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 162,000. The Midwest was down 2.4% from July to a rate of 81,000. The Northeast and South, both of which were affected by weather during the month, were down 34.3% and 12.3% respectively at 23,000 and 343,000, also respectively. Three of the four regions were up from August last year, with the West gaining 35%, the Midwest 39.7% and the South 15.9%. The Northeast was off 25.8% from the pace of last August.
The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2016 was $284,000, down from $293,100 in July and $300,200 a year earlier; the average sales price was $353,600, marginally flat with both month-earlier and year-earlier prices. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August was 235,000. This represents a supply of 4.6 months at the current sales rate.
New homes priced between $200,000 and $299,999 remained the most popular segment, as 37%, or 19,000, of total new homes sold in August fell in that price range. Close behind were the 10,000 new home sales between $300,000 and $399,999, accounting for 20% of total sales. From July to August, homes priced in the higher end over $5000,000 tier saw a pick-up while entry-level markets below $199,999 continued to drop in August, once again reflecting the long-time shortage of affordable homes in the lower-tier.
Read the full release from the Census Bureau here >>