2010 Economic Calendar
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New Home Sales  
Released On 1/27/2010 10:00:00 AM For Dec, 2009
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Home Sales - Level - SAAR355 K352 K370 K350 K to 385 K342 K

The housing market sank deeply in December, the result of November's first-round expiration of buyer credits. New home sales fell 7.6 percent to an annual sales rate of 342,000 units. The result is 28,000 lower than expected but offset by upward revisions to prior months that total 23,000. Supply on the market rose to 8.1 months vs. November's 7.6 months.

There is good news as this report falls in line with others indicating a firming in home prices. The median price rose 5.2 percent to $231,000 while the average rose 7.6 percent to $290,600. The year-on-year rate for the average price is actually up 10.5 percent.

The second-round expiration of buyer credits at the end of April points to gains ahead for the housing market, but the gains are likely to be clumped just ahead of the expiration which point to continued housing weakness through much of this quarter. There was little reaction to today's report.

Consensus Outlook
New home sales plunged 11 percent in November to a 355,000 annual rate. And to make matters worse, supply rose to 7.9 months from 7.2 months in October. Prices appear to be leveling as the median price was up 3.8 percent in the latest month to $217,400 for a marginal year-on-year decline of only 1.9 percent. However, the price numbers are affected by shifts in the composition of homes sold-such as the share in the high end versus the share in the low end. The off and on tax credits for homebuyers has created volatility in recent sales numbers and we could see movement in either direction in December. First, the November decline may have been due to front loading of sales ahead of the first deadline for getting the tax credit and there may be a rebound in December. But the December NAHB Housing Market Index fell back slightly, indicating that sales may remain weak.

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

2010 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/272/243/244/235/266/237/268/259/2410/2711/2412/23
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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