New Home Sales Down in November, But Still 20% Well Above 2019 Figures

This morning's release of the November New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 841K, down 11% month-over-month from a revised 945K in October. This is still almost 21% above the November 2019 figure. The forecast was for 995K.

Here is the opening from the report:

New Home Sales
Sales of new single-family houses in November 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 841,000, 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 (±9.5 percent) below the revised October rate of 945,000, but is 20.8 percent (±19.5 percent) above the November 2019 estimate of 696,000.

Sales Price
The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2020 was $335,300. The average sales price was $390,100. [Full Report]

For a longer-term perspective, here is a snapshot of the data series, which is produced in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The data since January 1963 is available in the St. Louis Fed's FRED repository here. We've included a six-month moving average to highlight the trend in this highly volatile series.

New Home Sales

Over this time frame, we see the steady rise in new home sales following the 1990 recession and the acceleration in sales during the real estate bubble that peaked in 2005.