New Home Sales Fall More Than Expected in October

The October release for new home sales from the Census Bureau came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 679,000 units. The latest reading came in lower than the forecasted 721,000 rate. New home sales were down 5.6% month-over-month from a revised rate of 719,000 in September and up 17.7% from one year ago.

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. Starting in 2011, there was a similar rise in new home sales that peaked near the end of 2020 and retracted for about 2 years. The most recent trend in new home sales has been one of steady growth, with new home sales increasing 9 of the past 13 months.