New home sales in January jumped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000, a 15.6 percent increase over the December number of 378,000 and a 28.9 percent increase compared to January 2012 when sales were at a rate of 339,000.  The December figure was originally reported as 369,000 which had been an -8.8 percent drop from the previous month.

According to the new home sales report issued this morning by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales rose on both a monthly and an annual basis in all four regions.  The monthly and yearly increases were 27.6 percent and 54.2 percent in the Northeast; 11.1 percent and 13.6 percent in the Midwest; 3.2 percent and 16.6 percent in the South and 45.3 percent and 60.3 percent in the West.

The median sales price of new houses sold in January was $226,400 compared to $221.700 a year earlier.  The average price was $286,300, up from $265,700 in January 2012.

At the end of the reporting period there were 150,000 new homes for sale.  This represents a supply of 4.1 months at the current rate of sales.  In January 2012 there were 149,000 new homes on the market, a 5.3 month supply.  There were 31,000 new homes sold in January, only 12,000 of which were completed.  The median time on the market for homes sold in January was 4.7 months.

John Tashjian, Principal, Centurion Real Estate Partners in NYC said of the report, "January's new home sales data is continued evidence that market is on a positive trajectory.  While we believe that we are still in the second inning of a nine inning game, increased new home sales are a strong indicator of increasing consumer confidence in the overall US housing market.  As interest rates remain at all-time low levels and access to capital becomes more readily available to the homebuyer, we will expect to see new home sales continue to increase.  As homebuyers absorb existing inventory, we expect to see a resurgence of new constructions starts which will give the economy a much-needed shot in the arm."

New Home Sales