The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 607 thousand.
The previous three months were revised up significantly.
“Sales of new single‐family houses in January 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 607,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 6.9 percent below the revised December rate of 652,000 and is 4.1 percent below the January 2018 estimate of 633,000.”
Click on graph for larger image.
The first graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions since 1963. The dashed line is the current sales rate.
Even with the increase in sales over the last several years, new home sales are still somewhat low historically.
The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.
The months of supply increased in January to 6.6 months from 6.3 months in December.
The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009.
This is above the normal range (less than 6 months supply is normal).
“The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 336,000. This represents a supply of 6.6 months at the current sales rate.”
On inventory, according to the Census Bureau:
“A house is considered for sale when a permit to build has been issued in permit-issuing places or work has begun on the footings or foundation in nonpermit areas and a sales contract has not been signed nor a deposit accepted.”
Starting in 1973 the Census Bureau broke this down into three categories: Not Started, Under Construction, and Completed.
The third graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.
The inventory of completed homes for sale is still somewhat low, and the combined total of completed and under construction is a little low.
The last graph shows sales NSA (monthly sales, not seasonally adjusted annual rate).
In January 2018 (red column), 45 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year, 48 thousand homes were sold in January.
The all time high for January was 92 thousand in 2005, and the all time low for January was 21 thousand in 2011.
This was below expectations of 620,000 sales SAAR, however the three previous months were revised up significantly. I’ll have more later today.