New home sales turned upward in August after an especially
poor showing in July, though remain well off levels from the first half of the year. The Census Bureau
and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report that sales increased
by 7.9 percent over the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
421,000 . July sales were revised down
to a rate of 390,000 units from the original estimate of 394,000 which had
already represented a 13.4 percent drop from sales in June and a nine-month low. The August estimate is 12.6 percent higher
than the 374,000 unit estimate in August 2012.
The non-seasonally adjusted rate of sales in August was 35,000
compared to a revised estimate of 34,000 in July and 31,000 in August of last
The median price of a new home sold in August was $254,600
compared to $253,200 in August 2012 and the lowest median price reported since
October of last year. The average sales
price was $318,900, up from $305,500 a year earlier and the highest average
price since April's $337,000.
There are an estimated 175,000 new homes currently for sale
compared to 143,000 in August of last year.
At the current pace of sales this is estimated to be a 5.0 month supply.
New home sales in the Northeast were 8.8 percent above sales
in July and 27.6 percent higher than one year earlier. In the Midwest sales were up for the two
periods by 19.6 percent and 15.1 percent respectively. Sales in the South increased by 15.3 percent
month-over-month and 28.2 percent since last year. However sales in the West were down 14.6
percent from July and 21.2 percent from the same month in 2012.