The risk of volatility is always lurking in new home sales, a report where sample sizes are low and revisions often extreme. The revisions in today's report are fortunately on the upside and strongly so. But first the March data where the annualized sales rate rose 4.0 percent to 694,000 which exceeds Econoday's high estimate and is just off the expansion high of 711,000 set in November last year.
There's more strong news as the sales gain, like in yesterday's existing home sales report, didn't come at the expense of discounting as the median price rose 3.5 percent to $337,200. And the sales gain did not get any benefit from new supply as new single-family homes on the market were unchanged at 301,000 with the rate relative to sales falling, because of the rise in sales, to 5.2 months from 5.4 months.
Now the revisions which total 71,000 over the last two months: February now at 667,000 and January at 622,000. This week's housing data, which also include today's FHFA and Case-Shiller price data, have upgraded the outlook for the housing sector, from a hesitant pace to a solid and accelerating pace.
New home sales peaked late last year but have been struggling since, held down by rising mortgage rates and limited supply. Forecasters see improvement for March, at a consensus 630,000 vs February's 618,000.