New home sales more or less blew away the experts in
December, coming in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 units. The Census Bureau and the Department of
Housing and Urban Development said that sales of newly constructed homes were
up 10.8 percent from November and 9.9 percent from December 2014 sales of
495,000. Sales in November were revised
up slightly from 490,000 to 491,000.
The median forecast among economists called for an annual pace of 500,000 units.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis there were 38,000 homes sold,
compared to 34,000 in November. At the
end of the reporting period 238,000 new homes remained available for sale, a
5.2 month supply.
The median price of a home sold in December was $288,900,
the second lowest median of the year, compared to $302,000 in December
2014. The average price was also lower
than a year earlier at $346,400 compared to $374,500.
Sales were up strongly in three of the four regions, with
only the South reporting flat results.
In the Northeast December sales were 20.8 percent higher than the
previous month but down 6.5 percent from a year earlier. Sales in the Midwest
jumped up by 31.6 percent month-over-month and 38.9 percent on an annual
basis. The West saw sales increase by
21.0 percent and 21.9 percent for the two periods. In the South there was a +0.4 percent change
from November and no movement whatsoever from the previous December.