August New Home Sales Down to 7.6% Month-over-Month, Better Than Forecast

This morning's release of the August New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 609K, down 7.6% month-over-month from a revised 659K in July. Seasonally adjusted estimates for May, June, and July were revised. The forecast was for 600K.

Here is the opening from the report:

Sales of new single-family houses in August 2016 were 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. This is 7.6 percent (±10.7%)* below the revised July rate of 659,000, but is 20.6 percent (±14.8%) above the August 2015 estimate of 505,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2016 was $284,000; the average sales price was $353,600. 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. [Full Report]

For a longer-term perspective, here is a snapshot of the data series, which is produced in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The data since January 1963 is available in the St. Louis Fed's FRED repository here. We've included a six-month moving average to highlight the trend in this highly volatile series.

New Home Sales

Over this time frame we see the steady rise in new home sales following the 1990 recession and the acceleration in sales during the real estate bubble that peaked in 2005.