Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New home sales in US West rise to nearly 5-year high

New single-family home sales in the U.S. West were up 505 percent from February 2012 to February 2013, coming in at 12,000 new homes for February 2013, which was the largest number of new home sales in any month since April 2008.  According to a new report released today by the census bureau, 2012 showed growth in new home sales over 2011 overall, and in February new home sales have moved have continued to move up significantly. 

The report, which monitors sales activity for newly constructed houses, showed that new home sales remain down 74 percent from peak levels. 

The first graph shows monthly new home sales totals for each month since 2003. 2012 was clearly the most active year since 2009, and February's total reinforces predictions that 2013 will be another growth year for new home sales. This prediction would rely on continued low interest rates and avoidance of a recession. We can also see that February's new home sales total was the highest number reported for the region since 2008. 

For the West region: 

Comparing monthly totals, February stats show that little happened during January from 2009 to 2012, but that activity increased quite a bit from 2012 to 2013 when looking at January and February. New home sales in February 2013 were tied at 12,000 with February 2008.

The number of new homes for sale at the end of the reporting period was down 9.6 percent from February 2012 to February 2013. There were 28,000 new homes for sale in the West region during February, compared to 31,000 for sale during February of 2012. Nationally, new homes for sale were more flat, being up only 4.1 percent. 

As a final note, we can also look to the new home inventory. In this case, we calculate inventory by subtracting the number of new home sales in a given month from the number of new homes for sale at the end of the previous month. It appears that new homes for sale are selling quickly, and that the new construction is not enough to drive up inventory at this time. 

For a longer historical perspective, see here