November New Home Sales Slip to 4-Month Low

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The U.S. Census Bureau has released data on new single-family home sales for November. Sales fell 1.6% month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 438,000 from a downwardly revised October sales figure of 445,000. The consensus estimate for November called for sales of 460,000.

Year over year, November sales also fell 1.6%, compared with 445,000 a year ago.

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 fell from $305,000 in October to $280,900 in November and the average sales price fell from $401,000 to $321,800. By the end of November, the number of new homes for sale rose from 212,000 in October to 213,000, a supply of 5.8 months at the current sales rate.

In November, 61% of the 31,000 monthly sales were for homes priced at less than $300,000. The sharp drop in the median and average prices is due to more sales of less expensive homes, including a jump of six points in homes sold in the range of $150,000 to $199,999 and rise of three points in homes sold for $200,000 to $299,999. Sales of homes priced above $750,000 dropped six points in November.

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