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Normal Seasonal Downtick Leaves New Home Sales 24% Ahead of Last Year

The Commerce Department’s actual, not seasonally adjusted, data for August dropped to 31,000 units from 34,000 in July. Such downticks are normal for the second half of the year. Sales totaled 25,000 units in August 2011. In the Wells Fargo- NAHB builders survey, builders reported improved sales and increased traffic in September. Both reached new recovery highs. The NAHB survey data is seasonally adjusted. They do not make the actual data public.

NAHB Housing Market Conditions- Click to enlarge

NAHB Housing Market Conditions- Click to enlarge

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Commerce Department New Home Sales- Click to enlarge

Commerce Department New Home Sales- Click to enlarge

The usual seasonal downturn is under way but sales remain 24% above last year’s June level. The inventory to sales ratio is at its lowest level since 2005.

Prices rose sharply in August. New home sale prices are extremely volatile month to month, depending on the mix of price ranges going under contract. But median price was up 17% year to year, while the average price was up 13.9% year to year.  Recovery in new home sale prices has caught up to the gains in existing home sales. Median new house prices remain above the prices of existing homes at $256,900 versus $187,400 (NAR) . Median new home prices are down only 2.2% from the March 2007 peak while existing house sales are still down 18%.

New Home Sales Prices - Click to enlarge

New Home Sales Prices – Click to enlarge

This report is excerpted from the permanent Housing Charts page, updated regularly when new data is available. It includes price and volume data from a variety of business organizations and government agencies to give you a complete and accurate overview of trends in the housing market.

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Lee Adler

I’ve been publishing The Wall Street Examiner and its predecessor since October 2000. I also publish, and was lead analyst for Sure Money Investor, of blessed memory. I developed David Stockman's Contra Corner for Mr. Stockman. I’ve had a wide variety of finance related jobs since 1972, including a stint on Wall Street in both sales, analytical, and trading capacities. Prior to starting the Wall Street Examiner I was a commercial real estate appraiser in Florida for 15 years. I was considered an expert in the analysis of failed properties that ended up in the hands of bank REO divisions, the FDIC, and the RTC. Remember those guys? I also worked in the residential mortgage and real estate businesses in parts of the 1970s and 80s. I have been charting stocks and markets and doing analytical work since I was a teenager. I'm not some Ivory Tower academic, Wall Street guy. My perspective comes from having my boots on the ground and in the trenches, as a real estate broker, mortgage broker, trader, account rep, and analyst. I've watched most of the games these Wall Street wiseguys play from right up close. I know the drill from my 55 years of paying attention. And I'm happy to share that experience with you, right here. 

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