New-home sales post first annual gain in 7 years

Inman News

Sales of new single-family homes rose 19.9 percent from 2011 to 2012, with 367,000 newly-built homes sold last year, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.

It's been seven years since new-home sales posted an annual gain, but 2012 was still the third worst year in Census Bureau records dating to 1963, blogger Bill McBride noted on Calculated Risk. The two worst years for new-home sales were 2010 and 2011.

The Census Bureau also reported that after an upward revision of November's numbers, the annual rate of new-home sales dropped 7.3 percent from November to December, to a seasonally adjusted 369,000 per year.

That represents an 8.8 percent increase from a year ago.

The median sales price of new homes sold in December was $248,900, up 9.6 percent from a year ago and 1.3 percent from November.

The Census Bureau estimated that 151,000 new homes were on the market at the end of December, representing a 4.9-month supply.

Annual new-home sales

Year Sales (thousands) Percent change in sales
2005
1,283
6.7%
2006
1,051
-18.1%
2007
776
-26.2%
2008
485
-37.5%
2009
375
-22.7%
2010
323
-13.9%
2011
306
-5.3%
2012
367
19.9%

Source: Calculated Risk blog

McBride said he expects December sales will be upwardly revised, just as those for the three previous months have been. In the years to come, McBride and others expect sales of new single-family home sales will be much higher.

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