New Home Sales Fall 7.3% But Last Month's Number Revised Up

Joplin Missouri Sky Home House Building ConstructionJeremy Nelson rebuilds his home after it was destroyed when a tornado hit in Joplin, Missouri.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New home sales fell 7.3 per cent month-over-month to 369K.Last month’s number was revised up to 398K, for 9.3 per cent.

December new home sales were up 8.8 per cent from a year ago.

The median sales prices of new homes sold in December was $248,900.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale was 151,000, which represents a supply of 4.9 months at the current sales rate.

An estimated 367,000 new homes were sold in 2012, up 19.9 per cent from a year ago.


New home sales for December will be out at 10 a.m. ET.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg are looking for sales to rise to an annual rate of 385 K.

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While housing has been called the only bright spot in the U.S. economy, some are concerned that new home sales haven’t been as strong and could add to inventory.

Millan Mulraine at TD Securities wrote:

The new homes market has been a laggard in the overall housing market recovery, and while new homebuilding and existing home sales activity have risen significantly from their lows, new home sales have yet to enjoy a similar turnaround in fortune.

Remember decline in inventory (existing and new homes) is one of the key things propping up home prices. Moreover analysts caution about seasonality in interpreting year-end data.

“Inventory typically falls at the end of the year and picks up again in Q1 in anticipation of the spring selling season,” according to Bank of America’s Michelle Meyer.

New home sales measure newly constructed homes where sales have closed. Investors watch this data because it offers insight on the health of consumer and the economy.

SEE ALSO: 12 States Where Homeowners Are Deep Underwater On Their Mortgages >

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