New Home Sales Slip in December, but Up for the Year

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The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released data on new single-family home sales for December. Sales fell 7.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000 from a revised November sales figure of 398,000. Economists had been expecting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 388,000. The December rate is 8.8%, above the rate for December 2011. At the peak in 2005, new home sales posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.4 million.

The Census Bureau also reported that the median sales price for new homes sold in December was $248,900, about 1% above the November median, and the average sales price was $304,000, up about 1.4% from November. In November, the median sales price for a new house was $246,200 and the average sales price was $299,700.

At the end of December, the number of new homes for sale totaled 151,000, a supply of 4.9 months, up slightly from an inventory totaling 149,000 at the end of November.

For the full year, the Census Bureau estimates new home sales totaled 367,000, up 19.9% over sales of 306,000 in 2011.

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