The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential sales statistics for December 2017:
New Home Sales
Sales of new single-family houses in December 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000. This is 9.3 percent (±11.0 percent) below the revised November rate of 689,000 but is 14.1 percent (±13.0 percent) above the December 2016 estimate of 548,000.
An estimated 608,000 new homes were sold in 2017. This is 8.3 percent (±4.1 percent) above the 2016 figure of 561,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in December 2017 was $335,400. The average sales price was $398,900.
For Sale Inventory and Months’ Supply
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 295,000. This represents a supply of 5.7 months at the current sales rate.
The January report is scheduled for release on February 26, 2018.
In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take three months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, six months for total starts, and six months for total completions. The statistics in this release are estimated from sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated relative standard errors of the most recent data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5 percent (±3.2 percent) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percentage change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percentage changes are 90 percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. The same policies apply to the confidence intervals for percentage changes shown in the tables. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates of total building permits, housing starts and housing completions are revised 3 percent or less. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found at the Census Bureau’s website.
* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. In such cases, there is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.