2011 Economic Calendar
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New Home Sales  
Released On 3/23/2011 10:00:00 AM For Feb, 2011
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Home Sales - Level - SAAR284 K281 K290 K240 K to 305 K250 K

Depressed is the only way to describe new home sales which fell 16.9 percent in February to an annual rate of 250,000. A rate of 290,000 was expected. All regions show declines. The data are filled with multi-year lows and record lows including unadjusted sales in the month of only 19,000 units.

The median price fell 13.9 percent in the month to $202,100, a drop that sweeps the year-on-year rate into the negative column at minus 8.9 percent. The average price of $246,000 is down 7.3 percent for a deepening year-on-year decline of 13.4 percent.

Supply on the market rose to 8.9 months at the current sales rate vs. January's 7.4 months and compared against 8.0 months in February last year. There were an adjusted 186,000 new homes on the market in February, not quite half of the long-term trend of 300,000.

The new home market is being particularly hit by competition from distressed sales of existing homes. But existing home sales have also been depressed with prices there also coming down. Winter weather does cloud home sales and there is hope that the housing market will improve should payroll growth continue to accelerate. Another plus is the drop in loan rates, a drop that has helped boost mortgage applications this month.

Consensus Outlook
New home sales in January fell a sharp 12.6 percent to a lower-than-expected annual rate of 284,000 units. The latest pace is just barely above the historical low of 280,000 units sold in October 2010. The median price for a new home fell 1.9 percent in the month to $230,600. Despite recently softer prices, new homes are not as competitive as prices for existing homes.
The drop in new home sales made supply look heavier again, at 7.9 months at the current sales rate, compared to 7.0 months in December.

New home sales measure the number of newly constructed homes with a committed sale during the month. The level of new home sales indicates housing market trends and, in turn, economic momentum and consumer purchases of furniture and appliances.  Why Investors Care
There is no question that lower interest rates boost home sales. Other factors also impact housing decisions, such as employment and income growth, and wealth stemming from stock market gains.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/262/243/234/255/246/237/268/239/2610/2611/2812/23
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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