New Residential Sales Easily Beat Forecast, Nearly No Effects Due to COVID-19 in April and May
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 May 2020. New home sales unexpectedly soared 16.6% (±15.5%) to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000 in May, easily beating the consensus forecast.
This month of April was revised down to a rate of 580,000, when most businesses and government were operating on a limited capacity or had ceased operations totally. Still, new home sales have shown little impact due to the pandemic and are now 12.7% (±23.5%) above the May 2019 estimate of 600,000.
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. Forecasts for May ranged from a low of 600,000 to a high of 670,000. The consensus forecast was only 636,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in May 2020 was $317,900. The average sales price was $368,800. The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 318,000. This represents a supply of 5.6 months at the current sales rate.