After September Adjustment, October New Home Sales Jump

In a year marked by sustained volatility in the housing market, HUD and the Census Bureau reported a jump in October new home sales, after adjusting down September numbers.  

The report said sales of new single-family houses in October rose by 10.7 percent to 495,000, seasonally adjusted. The September rate was revised downward to 447,000 from 468,000. The October rate was 4.0 percent higher tha.  

Regionally, sales rose everywhere except the West, which saw an 0.9 percent decline to 114,000 units in October from 115,000 in September. Sales in the West fell by 2.6 percent from a year ago.  

In the Northeast, sales rose by a whopping 135.3 percent, to 40,000 units in October from just 17,000 in September, and improved by 60 percent from a year ago. In the South, sales rose by 8.9 percent to 281,000 units in October from 258,000 in September and rose by 5.2 percent from a year ago. In the Midwest, sales rose by 5.3 percent in October to 60,000 units from 57,000 in September but fell by 4.8 percent from a year ago.  

Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities, Charlotte, N.C., noted with downward revisions to September and August, the three-month moving average fell to a 485,000 pace, the lowest level since last December.  

“That said, new home sales tend to be more volatile on a monthly basis than existing home sales,” Vitner said.  

The report said the median sales price of new houses sold in October fell to $281,500; the average sales price dropped slightly to $366,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October rose to 226,000. This represents a supply of 5.5 months at the current sales rate; however, the months’ supply actually fell (from 6.0 months) as inventory did not keep up with demand.