New-Home Sales Increase Slightly in November

by Chicago Agent

New-home sales rose marginally in November, continuing a 2011 trend of mostly sideways growth.

New single-family home sales in November rose 1.6 percent from October, a seven-month high that still continues a 19-month trend of mostly sideways growth at a low level.

According to new data jointly released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales increased from 310,000 in October to 315,000 in November. Year-0ver-year sales were much more positive, increasing 9.8 percent from November 2010’s total of 287,000.

On the supply side, the seasonally-adjusted inventory of new-homes for sale continued to fall, reaching 158,000 in November, or, 6.0 months of supply. That is half of the all-time high of 12.1 months of supply in January 2009, and the closest new-home inventories have come to a normal level since 2004. Less than a 6.0 month supply is considered normal (for more on inventories, see our recent post on the National Association of Realtors’ inventory revisions).

Writing about the data on Calculated Risk, Bill McBride notes that new-homes are still on their sideways path from 19 months ago.

“New home sales have averaged only 300 thousand SAAR over the 19 months since the expiration of the tax credit,” McBride wrote. “(Sales are) mostly moving sideways at a very low level, although sales have been increasing a little lately.”

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