New home sales are soft but sellers are getting their prices, at least in October. New home sales came in at a lower-than-expected 458,000 pace vs 455,000 in September which has been revised 12,000 lower. August, which was originally reported at 504,000, has been revised down a second time, 13,000 lower in today’s report to 453,000. The combined 25,000 in today’s downward revisions paint a weaker-than-expected picture of the new home market.
This report is often volatile and volatility really appears in price data which show a 16.5 percent surge in the median price to a record $305,000. The year-on-year rate, which had dipped into the negative column in September, is suddenly at plus 15.4 percent.
Supply of new home sales for sales is steady, at 212,000 vs 210,000 and 207,000 in the prior two months. On a monthly sales basis, supply is at 5.6 months vs 5.5 months in both September and August.
Looking at regions, sales in the South, which for new home sales is larger than all other regions combined, slipped 1.9 percent in the month with the West, the second largest region, down 2.7 percent. Sales rose 15.8 percent in the Midwest, which is a relatively small region compared to the South and even to the West, while sales in the Northeast, which is a tiny region in this report, rose 7.1 percent.
This report gallops up and down from month to month but the long slope is just about dead flat. Year-on-year, new home sales are up only 1.8 percent.