Who do you believe – U.S. Census who is telling you new home sales are down, or Econintersect who is telling you home sales are up? Or even a better question – is it significant enough to matter?
With new home sales at 25% of past rates, whatever happened in May 2011 is simply a blip – and is not significant enough to matter. But it is interesting to note:
- this is the first YoY increase since the ending of the first home buyers incentive expired;
- it is occurring against first home buyers incentive data; and.
- that it is occurring in the middle of a economic soft spot.
The headlines of the data release (which uses seasonally adjusted data):
Sales of new single-family houses in May 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 319,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This is 2.1 percent (±10.7%)* below the revised April rate of 326,000, but is 13.5 percent (±13.6%)* above the May 2010 estimate of 281,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in May 2011 was $222,600; the average sales price was $266,400. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 166,000. This represents a supply of 6.2 months at the current sales rate.
This is one months data. My takeaway is that this data is lost in the noise of the big picture and is insignificant in comparison.
Housing Inventory: Hard and Soft Shadows by John Lounsbury
Mediocre Home Sales Continue in May 2011 by Steven Hansen
New Home Construction Indicates Sector Expansion In May 2011 by Steven Hansen
Case-Shiller Joins the Club – All Indices In Double Dip Territory by Steven Hansen
April 2011 Pending Home Sales Signals Disaster in Home Market by Steven Hansen
CoreLogic Sees Short Sales Growing 25% in 2011 by CoreLogic
Flipping Mad Over Fraud Flips by Frank McKenna
“Bottoming” New Housing Data Is A Reflection of the Economy by Steven Hansen
Real Time Home Price Index Shows Housing Price Strength by Scott Sambucci
Strategic Defaults: A Bad Situation That Could Get Worse by Keith Jurow