WASHINGTON – January 29, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — Sales of new single-family houses in December 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is 10.8 percent (±17.1%)* above the revised November rate of 491,000 and is 9.9 percent (±25.0%)* above the December 2014 estimate of 495,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in December 2015 was $288,900; the average sales price was $346,400. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 237,000. This represents a supply of 5.2 months at the current sales rate.
An estimated 501,000 new homes were sold in 2015. This is 14.5 percent (±4.5%) above the 2014 figure of 437,000.
Estimates of houses sold and for sale by stage of construction are now available on a seasonally adjusted basis as well as not seasonally adjusted basis. Historic seasonally adjusted data will be available back to January 1999 at http://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/historical_data/.
New Residential Sales data for January 2016 will be released on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, at 10:00 A.M. EST. Read more about new residential sales activity.
These statistics are estimated from sample surveys. They are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimated average relative standard errors of the preliminary data are shown in the tables. Whenever a statement such as “2.5 percent (±3.2%) above” appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.7 to +5.7 percent) in which the actual percent change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given for percent 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 percent changes shown in the tables. Changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show irregular movement. It takes 3 months to establish a trend for new houses sold. Preliminary new home sales figures are subject to revision due to the survey methodology and definitions used. The survey is primarily based on a sample of houses selected from building permits. Since a “sale” is defined as a deposit taken or sales agreement signed, this can occur prior to a permit being issued. An estimate of these prior sales is included in the sales figure. On average, the preliminary seasonally adjusted estimate of total sales is revised about 4 percent. Changes in sales price data reflect changes in the distribution of houses by region, size, etc., as well as changes in the prices of houses with identical characteristics. Explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability can be found on our web site listed above.
* 90% confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.
U.S. Census Bureau
Raemeka Mayo or Stephen Cooper
Economic Indicators Division
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Public Affairs