New Home Sales Vs. The Coronavirus

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The best single new home sales report of the entire cycle by a long shot today.

People that have followed my work over the years know that I have talked about how housing data should be better in the years 2020-2024 as housing demographics will kick in those years.

So far, 2020 has surprised even me to the upside on all aspects of housing data. Now all this is BC data (Before Coronavirus), and now we are at the AD (After Disease) stage. Housing will get hit short term, but the demographic backdrop for housing can’t be killed by a virus. In time we will defeat this devil and send it back to Hell. This country will walk the earth without social distancing, and we will back on-line. However, from here to that day, we still have a lot of work to do. One country, one family, one goal, and doing this all together.

From Census:

https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales.pdf

New Home Sales
Sales of new single-family houses in February 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 765,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 4.4 percent (±14.8 percent)* below the revised January rate of 800,000, but is 14.3 percent(±17.5 percent)* above the February 2019 estimate of 669,000.

Sales Price
The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2020 was $345,900. The average sales price was $403,800.

For Sale Inventory and Months’ Supply
The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 319,000. This represents a supply of 5.0 months at the current sales rate.

The recent data has been on fire for new home sales, which confirms the robust housing starts data year over year.

– 3-month sales average running at 763,000.

– 2 month monthly supply average is below 5 months, the first time this has happened in a while. 

– Back to back double-digit plus growth in new home sales.

From Doug Short:
https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2020/03/24/new-home-sales-fall-4-in-february

March New Home Sales Data

The single most important chart for housing (BC) data was the monthly supply chart for new homes. It has fallen to a level that facilitated near 40% year over year growth in housing starts per the last report.

From Fred:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MSACSR
March Housing Supply

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I am telling everyone to put a significant * on the next 90 days on the housing reports. It’s going to look very odd as people can’t go out to list their homes or even buy houses to recent trends.

Once we get lockdown protocols off and run through the first 30 days of that event, then we can have a more clear picture of the AD ( After Disease) housing market impact. The BC housing reports in 2020 were the best of the cycle.

Logan Mohtashami is a financial writer and blogger covering the U.S. economy with a specialization in the housing market. Logan Mohtashami is a senior loan officer at AMC Lending Group, which has been providing mortgage services for California residents since 1987. Logan also tracks all economic data daily on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Logan.Mohtashami and is a contributor for HousingWire.