NEW HOMES RESIDENTIAL SALES IN DECEMBER 2015

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NEW HOMES RESIDENTIAL SALES IN DECEMBER 2015

NEW HOMES  CENSUS BUREAU AND HUD SHOW INCREASE

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New Homes    Sales Up Big

Sales of new single-family houses in December 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This is 10.8 percent (±17.1%)  above the revised November rate of 491,000 and is 9.9 percent (±25.0%) above the December 2014 estimate of 495,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in December  2015 was $288,900; the average sales price was $346,400. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was
$237,000. This represents a supply of 5.2 months at the current sales rate.
An estimated 501,000 new homes were sold in 2015. This is 14.5 percent (±4.5%) above the 2014 figure of 437,000

Many of the new home builders have seen solid business growth over the past few years, even as their stocks have struggled. Lennar LEN, -1.69%  shares have declined about 9% over the past 12 months, while Toll Brothers TOL, -2.78%  is down 28%.

The sales data help confirm that the housing market is strengthening, Pantheon Macroeconomic Chief Economist Ian Shepherdson wrote in a note Wednesday. “The consensus always looked timid, given the very warm weather in December; new home sales are measured at the point contracts are signed, which often happens at sales offices at construction sites. Unseasonably warm winter weather makes these sites much more appealing places to visit.”

But other data, including builder sentiment and mortgage applications, signal stronger activity than the pace of new homes suggest, Shepherdson wrote, “so we have to expect further gains over the next few months.”

Source U.S. Cenus Bureau and Andrea Riquier author for  Marketwatch. Visit marketwatch.com for more news. Follow Andrea on Twitter at   Twitter@ARiquier

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Milton Weiss
Born in cold country up north, I never was happy being cold. Finished college and left for warmer weather and landed in the Caribbean for many years. Met my wife there, had a happy life there and then moved to Palm Beach County, Florida, where we still have a happy life. Warm weather, the sun, and the ocean flow through my body. I hope to bring some of that energy to you.

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