New single-family home sales in the U.S. West were up 80 percent from January 2012 to January 2013, coming in at 9,000 new homes for January 2013, which was the largest number of new home sales in any month since August 2012. January's total was also the highest total for any January since 2008 . According to a new report released last week by the census bureau, 2012 showed growth in new home sales over 2011 overall, and January new home sales have moved have moved up significantly.
The report, which monitors sales activity for newly constructed houses, showed that new home sales remain down 76 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 January'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.
For the West region:
The number of new homes for sale was flat and unchanged from January 2012 to January 2013. There were 32,000 new homes for sale in the West region during January, compared to 32,000 for sale during January of 2012. Nationally, new homes for sale were almost flat, being up only 1.3 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. We see in the graph that the inventory bottomed out in 2012, but has come up a little over the past 4 or 5 months. Nevertheless, inventory in new homes remains very low.
For a longer historical perspective, see here.