The previous three months were revised down.
Sales of new single-family houses in May 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 16.6 percent above the revised April rate of 580,000 and is 12.7 percent above the May 2019 estimate of 600,000.
The first graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions since 1963. The dashed line is the current sales rate.
The second graph shows New Home Months of Supply.
The all time record was 12.1 months of supply in January 2009.
This is in the normal range (less than 6 months supply is normal).
“The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 318,000. This represents a supply of 5.6 months at the current sales rate. “
On inventory, according to the Census Bureau:
“A house is considered for sale when a permit to build has been issued in permit-issuing places or work has begun on the footings or foundation in nonpermit areas and a sales contract has not been signed nor a deposit accepted.”
Starting in 1973 the Census Bureau broke this down into three categories: Not Started, Under Construction, and Completed.
The third graph shows the three categories of inventory starting in 1973.
The inventory of completed homes for sale is still somewhat low, and the combined total of completed and under construction is close to normal.
In May 2020 (red column), 64 thousand new homes were sold (NSA). Last year, 56 thousand homes were sold in May.
The all time high for May was 120 thousand in 2005, and the all time low for May was 30 thousand in 2011.
This was above expectations of 640 thousand sales SAAR, however sales in the three previous months were revised down. I’ll have more later today.