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November 23, 2016 | New Home Sales Decline 1.9%, Negative Revisions Yet Again: Effective Decline 5.1%

Mike 'Mish' Shedlock

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

October new home sales came in at a 563,000 figure on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) according to the Census Bureau. That’s a reported 1.9% decline.

However, -1.9% is vs. a huge downward revision in September, from an initially reported 593,000 units to 574,000 units.

This month’s actual decline is 5.1% from September as originally reported.

Sales of new single-family houses in October 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This
is 1.9 percent (±13.1%)* below the revised September rate of 574,000, but is 17.8 percent (±16.9%) above the October 2015 estimate of 478,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2016 was $304,500; the average sales price was $354,900. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 246,000. This represents a supply of 5.2
months at the current sales rate.

September Flashback

Last month I reported September New Home Sales Lower than Consensus, July and August Revised Sharply Lower

September new home sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 593,000 units, a bit under the Econoday Consensus Estimate of 601,000.

The key headline in today’s report is the massive downward revision to reported numbers in July and August.

August sales went from 609,000 to 575,000. July sales went from 659,000 to 629,000. As is typically the case, the Econoday parrot proclaimed this as good news.

“Very Positive”

Last month, Econoday called a 7.6% decline “very positive”. For details, please see New Home Sales Decline 7.6%, Median Price Down 3.1%: “Very Positive” Says Econoday.

The revised decline was from 629,000 to 575,000. That makes the revised decline 8.6% from July. Moreover, July itself was revised lower from June by 4.6%.

Amazingly, the Econoday parrot is sticking with its positive assessment. In contrast, this is what I had to say last month: “Bloomberg calls the report very positive. Is the report positive at all?”

Today we have our answer. It wasn’t.

The Econoday parrot was not squawking about good news in housing at all today. He may squawking next month as this is a relatively easy number to beat.

New Single Family Home Sales

new-home-sales-2016-11a

The level reached today could not beat the initial data series report in January of 1963.

The best we can say is the trends is still positive since the bottom in February of 2011.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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November 23rd, 2016

Posted In: Mish Talk

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