New homes sales managed a small increase in December following three months of losses including a substantial downturn in November. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that sales of newly built homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 842,000 units. This is a 1.6 percent increase from the downward revision of the November estimate. The revision downgraded those sales from an annual rate of 841,000, a 11.0 percent decline, to 829,000. The December rate of sales represents 15.2 percent year-over-year growth.
Analysts had expected a better recovery from the November loss. Those polled by Econoday had predicted sales would be in the range of 822,000 to 934,000. Their consensus was 871,000 units.
On a non-adjusted basis there were 55,000 homes sold compared to 59,000 the previous month. For the year, sales totaled 811,000, an 18.8 percent increase from the 683,000 sales in 2019.
The median price of a home sold during the month was $355,900 compared to $329,500 in December of 2019. The average sales prices for the two periods was $394,900 and $377,700, respectively.
Sales in the Northeast fell 6.1 percent compared to the previous month and are down 20.5 percent on an annual basis. The Midwest saw a month-over-month gain of 30.6 percent. This puts the annual sales growth at 13.3 percent.
The South's sales dipped 5.1 percent compared to November but remain 21.7 percent higher than in December 2019. There was a monthly increase of 8.8 percent in the West and 10.4 percent from the pace a year earlier.
At the end of December there were an estimated 302,000 new homes available for sale. This is a 4.3-month supply at the current sales page. In December of 2019, the 322,000 available homes were estimated as sufficient for 5.3 months.