Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
New single-family home sales plummeted 32.7 percent in May, undoubtedly driven by the deadline for the homebuyers’ tax credit at the end of April. The larger-than-expected decline set back the annual sales pace, now at 300,000 units, to its slowest since records began 1963. In fact, May’s sales pace decline was not only larger-than-expected but came in a whole 70,000 units below the low end of analysts’ consensus range. All regions of the U.S. showed a significant drop, particularly the South and the West, which accounted for 80 percent of the total decline over the month. This dismal report comes after more than a whole year of stable (but low) reported sales, apparently propped up in large part by the government’s tax credit program. Given the noise surrounding this program, though, it is difficult to discern any definitive trend or signal from the data. Year-over-year growth obviously took a hit with this report as well, diving all the way from 30.8 percent growth down to −18.3 percent. The Northeast and Midwest were the only regions with positive year-over-year growth.
New single-family homes for sale slipped a slight 0.5 percent, and due to the oversized fall in sales, the months’ supply of new homes at the current sales rate rose quite dramatically, from 5.8 months to 8.5. Months’ supply began descending from its peak 12.1 months in January 2009, but the increase accompanying this report elevates months’ supply back up to its June 2009 level.