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[Repetition Watch] New Home Sales Up

US Census Bureau and HUD released their June 2009 New Residential Sales [1] (New Home Sales) today and the news is generally positive [2], exceeding expectations but upon further analysis [3], doesn’t mean much yet and also confirms how weak the upper end is:

Number of sales

Sales of new one-family houses in June 2009 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 11.0 percent (±13.2%)* above the revised May rate of 346,000, but is 21.3 percent (±11.4%) below the June 2008 estimate of 488,000.


The median sales price of new houses sold in June 2009 was $206,200; the average sales price was $276,900. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 281,000. This represents a supply of 8.8 months at the current sales rate.

Inventory is down 4.1% from last month and 35.6% from June 2008.

The high end market share is getting hammered though.

In June 2008, 4.4% of new home sales were higher than $750,000 In June 2009, 2.8% of new home sales were higher than $750,000

The 2009 figure is much weaker than that considering overall new sales have fallen 21.3% over the same period possibly bringing many of the 2008 $750,000+ sales below the $750,000 threshold.

It’s all about new construction and jumbo credit.

UPDATE: Floyd Norris says this is the worst new home sale results [4] by far since the metric was first tracked in 1963.