By klrw460 March 25, 2024

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly reported that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new single-family home sales was 662,000. This figure represents a slight decrease of 0.3 percent (±16.2 percent)* from the revised January rate of 664,000, yet it shows an increase of 5.9 percent (±14.3 percent)* compared to the February 2023 estimate of 625,000. The median sales price for new houses sold during this period was reported at $400,500, with an average sales price of $485,000.

The seasonally-adjusted estimate for the inventory of new houses available for sale at the end of February stood at 463,000. This corresponds to a supply of 8.4 months at the current sales rate. The announcement also noted that the report for March is anticipated to be released on April 23, 2024. Additional details and the full schedule for releases can be found in the Economic Briefing Room on the Census Bureau’s website.

The explanatory notes accompanying the report clarify that these statistics are based on sample surveys and are subject to both sampling variability and nonsampling error. This includes potential bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. The notes also explain that the estimated average relative standard errors of the preliminary data are presented in the tables. Statements indicating a range for percent change, such as “2.5 percent (±3.2%) above”, signify the confidence interval within which the actual percent change is likely to fall. All provided ranges for percent changes are 90-percent confidence intervals, considering only sampling variability. The significance of changes is determined by whether these intervals contain zero.

The report further mentions that preliminary figures for new home sales are subject to revisions, which are influenced by the survey methodology and definitions utilized. The sales figures are primarily derived from a sample of houses selected from building permits, with sales defined as deposits taken or sales agreements signed, possibly before a permit is issued. The average revision for the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimate of total sales is about 3.2 percent.

A special notice included in the report announces updates to the sales price range groups in the Census table “New Privately-Owned Houses Sold, by Sales Price”, effective from the April 2024 New Residential Sales release on May 23, 2024. This adjustment aims to better reflect the current distribution of new home prices, with new price groupings also introduced in the Census’ time series file “New Houses Sold and For Sale by Price Range”. Data from January 2020 through March 2024 will be recalculated to incorporate additional data and revisions received since initial publication and re-released in the new price groupings. Data for the years 2002-2019 will be archived with the former price groupings. Additionally, data in related tables and indices will be revised to reflect these changes.

For the full details and insights, please refer to the original press release at the following link: