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June New Home Sales Collapse

Paul Ausick

The U.S. Census Bureau Thursday morning released data on new single-family home sales for June. Sales fell 8.1% month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 406,000, from a downwardly revised May sales figure of 442,000.

The really bad news, though, is that the revised May estimate dropped 62,000 sales from the original estimate of 504,000. That is about 19% below the original Census Bureau estimate and a three-month low. Economists had been expecting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 475,000 for June.

The June rate is 11.5% below the rate for June 2013. At the peak in 2005, new home sales posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.4 million.

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The Census Bureau also reported that the median sales price for new homes sold in June was $273,500 and the average sales price was $331,400. The median price fell $8,500 month-over-month and the average price rose by $12,380. At the end of June, the number of new homes for sale rose from a May total of 189,000 to 197,000, a supply of 5.8 months at the current sales rate.

In June, 60% of sales were of homes priced at less than $300,000, but the percentage of homes sold in the $200,000 to $299,999 price range rose from 30% in May to 36%, which helps explain the share rise in the average sales price during the month. The dip in the median price is likely due to a drop in the percentage of sales priced between $300,000 and $399,999 from 21% of all sales to 15%.

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