January New Home Sales dipped slightly, but only because the past month’s sales were revised higher. Together, December and January new home sales were the best they’ve been in a year, up 3.5% in that time frame. The median sale price squeaked up $1,000 for the month, to $217,500. Best of all, the supply of new homes dropped to 5.6 months, the lowest in six years, with a record low 151,000 new homes for sale.
Earlier in the week, January Existing Home Sales came in up 4.3%, but only because the past month’s were revised lower. However, this was the third gain in four months and the best level since May 2010. Sales were up in all regions, and the supply of unsold homes dropped to a new post-recession low of 6.1 months. Existing home sales in 2011 were up 1.7% over 2010. The FHFA index of prices for homes with conforming mortgages, was up 0.7% in December and up 1.8% since March, the biggest 9-month gain since 2005-2006.