New Residential Sales Were Forecasted to Decline to 495k
Washington, D.C. (PPD) — The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly reported the new residential sales statistics for April 2020. New home sales unexpectedly rose 0.6% (±14.9%) to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 623,000 in April, easily beating the consensus forecast.
That is still 6.2% (±17.1%) below the April 2019 estimate of 664,000. The month of March was revised down from 627,000 to 619,000. However, it is due to mitigation efforts to “slow” the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
New home sales were on fire prior to the pandemic and beginning to show the fourth cylinder firing in a strong economy, peaking at 774,000 in January. In April, most businesses and government were operating on a limited capacity or had ceased operations totally during the month.
Forecasts ranged from a low of 450,000 to a high of 592,000. The consensus forecast was only 495,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in April was $309,900 and the average sales price was $364,500. The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of the month was 325,000, representing a supply of 6.3 months at the current sales rate.