Economic Snapshot: New home sales up over 20 percent year-over-year

This week we are looking at new and existing home sales data, both of which are up year-over-year, even if existing home sales did fall this month. New home sales are up this month and they are over 20 percent above their rate in 2014.

New home sales

Sales of new single-family houses were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000 in August. This is 5.7 percent above the revised July rate of 522,000 and 21.6 percent above the August 2014 estimate of 454,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in August was $292,700 and the average sales price was $353,400. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August was 216,000, which represents a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales rate.

Existing home sales

Existing home sales fell 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million in August, a drop from the downward revision of 5.58 million sales in July.

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This report follows three consecutive months of gains. Eleven of the 12 past months have seen year-over-year sales increase in existing home sales and sales are currently 6.2 percent above the previous year.

The median existing home price for all housing types was $228,700 in August, which is 4.7 percent above the August 2014 median price. This marks the 42nd consecutive month of YOY price gains.

The percent share of first-time buyers rose to 32 percent in August after dropping to 28 percent in July. This matches the highest share of the year set in May. First-time buyers represented 29 percent of all buyers in August 2014.

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