November New Home Sales Up 5.2% MoM, Surprises Expectations

This morning's release of the November New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 592K, up 5.2% month-over-month from 563K in October. Seasonally adjusted estimates for August, September, and October were revised. The Investing.com forecast was for 575K.

Here is the opening from the report:

Sales of new single-family houses in November 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 5.2 percent (±14.1%)* above the revised October rate of 563,000 and is 16.5 percent (±19.3%)* above the November 2015 estimate of 508,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2016 was $305,400; the average sales price was $359,900. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 250,000. This represents a supply of 5.1 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.