New home sales increased only slightly in September, up 0.2 percent over August, bringing the annual rate of those sales to 467,000.  Sales were up 17.0 percent from the September 2013 pace of 399,000 units.

Perhaps bigger news in today's joint release from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development was the revision to the August new home sales number. The initial report of those sales indicated a very significant 18 percent increase over July's number, sending sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 and over the half-million mark for the first time since May 2008.  The estimate was well over analysts' expectations; the consensus had been 430,000 units.  Turns out the analysts were closer to the mark than the government agencies which today downgraded the August estimate to an annual rate of 466,000.

This takes what had been a potential trend of improvement back into the stagnant sub-500k range that's been intact throughout the post-crisis period.



On a non-adjusted basis there were an estimated 38,000 new homes sold in September, unchanged from the previous month and 7,000 more than a year earlier.  A house sold during the month was on the market a median of 3.1 months.

At the end of September there were an estimated 207,000 new homes available for sale, a 5.3 month supply at the current absorption rate.  This is up from 183,000 available homes one year earlier which was at that time a 5.5 month supply.  

The median price of a new home sold in September was $259,000 and the average sale price was $313,200.  In September 2013 the median and average sale prices were $269,800 and $321,400 respectively.

New home sales in the Northeast region were unchanged from August at a seasonal rate of 30,000 units but that was an increase of 20.0 percent from September 2013.  The Midwest had a 12.3 percent month-over-month increase and sales were 6.7 percent above a year ago with an annual estimate of 64,000 units.

In the South annual sales were at a 261,000 unit pace, up 2.0 percent for the month and 18.6 percent on an annual basis.  The West saw an 8.9 percent drop in new home sales in September but the rate remained 19.1 percent higher than the same month in 2013 at 112,000 units.