Another Look at New Home Sales

Friday, May 25, 2007 | 08:23 AM

As we wait for the 10:00 am Existing Home  Sales Data (I will be on the beach by then) let's have yet another look at the New Homes numbers from yesterday.   

Last night, Larry derided our very straight forward analysis of New Home Sales as "tortured logic."  As noted yesterday, Homes are not impulse purchases, and double digit single month gains are highly aberrational, typically followed by mean reversion.

If that analysis is not to your taste, consider these other factors:

• The 16.2% jump in April sales was the biggest in 14 years -- as Bill King noted, that should’ve triggered warning bells immediately.

• The rise in sales were due mostly to a "35% surge in ‘homes not yet started.’ Completed home sales were virtually unchanged m/m (31k from 30k). 

• About 2/3 of April sales were for homes priced under $300,000.

King's most damning observation about April's New Home Sales data is based on the most recent few years of April data: They ALL have all been dramatically revised downwards:

-April 2006 New Home Sales were initially reported as +4.9%, but were later revised to a
DECLINE of 2.6%.

-April 2005 was initially reported as +0.2% but was later revised to a DECLINE of 5.1%. 

And finally, King asks, "How is it that the ‘bad weather’ that diminished retails sales did not affect new home sales?"

I think we already know the answer to that one . . .

Friday, May 25, 2007 | 08:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack (1) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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» Not dead yet from Econbrowser
We're still not seeing the deterioration in economic conditions that some had been expecting. [Read More]

Tracked on May 26, 2007 2:16:14 PM


Toll Brother reported a decline of 79% in earnings. The home builder blamed declining property values and CANCELLATIONS.

Posted by: Scot | May 25, 2007 8:44:51 AM

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