January 27, 2014

New-home sales down in December

Jan. 28, 2014 – New-home sales decreased in December due to tight inventory and severe weather, according to NAFCU Research Assistant Doug Christman.

Christman analyzed data from the Census Bureau in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash. He said new-home sales decreased by 7 percent in December, going from 445,000 annualized units in November to 414,000 annualized units in December. However, that is still a 4.5 percent increase from a year before.

"Rising mortgage rates over the summer put downward pressure on new home sales, but activity increased when interest rates moderated in October," Christman wrote. "Overall, new home sales improved significantly in 2013, and the housing market is expected to continue to support the broader economic recovery throughout 2014."

Just one out of four regions, the Midwest, saw new-home sales go up in December. However, sales went up overall from last year: in the Midwest, by 25 percent; the West, 5.1 percent; and the South, 4.1 percent. Sales declined in the Northeast from last year by 27.6 percent.

The median new-home price in December, non-seasonally adjusted, went up to $270,200 from $268,500 in November. The median price a year ago was $258,300.