New Home Sales Up for Third Straight Month

This article was originally written by Doug Short. From 2016-2022, it was improved upon and updated by Jill Mislinski. Starting in January 2023, AP Charts pages will be maintained by Jennifer Nash at Advisor Perspectives/VettaFi.

This morning's release of the February new home sales from the Census Bureau came in at 640K, up 1.1% month-over-month from a revised 633K in January. This is below the forecast of 650K however it is the highest amount of monthly sales in the last 6 months. and above the forecast of 620K. The median home price is now at $438,200, up $11.7K from January on a nominal basis.

Here is the opening from the report:

New Home Sales
Sales of new single‐family houses in February 2023 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 1.1 percent (±15.3 percent)* above the revised January rate of 633,000, but is 19.0 percent (±12.9 percent) below the February 2022 estimate of 790,000.

Sales Price
The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2023 was $438,200. The average sales price was $498,700. [
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.

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. Since 2011, we have seen a similar rise that has only recently retracted.