Sales of new single-family houses in the United States climbed 3.7 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621 thousand in December 2018, following a downwardly revised 9.1 percent jump in November and easily beating market expectations of an 8.7 percent plunge. It was the highest level since last May.
November's figure was revised to 599 thousand units from 657 thousand previously estimated.
In December, new home sales increased in the South (5 percent to a seven-month high of 375 thousand), West (1.4 percent to 143 thousand) and Northeast (44.8 percent to 42 thousand), but declined in the Midwest (-15.3 percent to 61 thousand, their lowest level since April 2016).
The median new house price fell 7.2 percent to USD 318,600 in December from USD 343,300 in the same month a year ago. The average sales price dropped to USD 377,000 from USD 402,900 a year ago.
The stock of new houses for sale went up 3 percent to 344 thousand in December, the highest since December 2008, from 334 thousand in November. This represents a supply of 6.6 months at the current sales rate, down from 6.7 months in November.
Year-on-year, new home sales decreased 2.4 percent. Considering 2018 full year, an estimated 622 thousand new homes were sold, up 1.5 percent from the 2017 figure of 613 thousand.
3/5/2019 3:20:37 PM