Are new home sales really booming?

Sales of new single-family houses in February 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000. This is 6.1 percent above the revised January rate of 558,000 and is 12.8 percent above the February 2016 estimate of 525,000.

That sounds good, right?

And here’s the chart provided with the release:

New home sales

When my daughter was growing up I frequently (as her eye rolling testified) reminded her of the importance of understanding the difference between relative and absolute.

In relative terms, new home sales were good, recording the second highest monthly figure since February 2008.

But in absolute terms? Look at this chart going back to 1990:

New home sales

From June 1992 to February 2008 – a span of more than 15 years – the monthly figure dropped below that just announced just once – in 189 months. And most of that time sales were a good deal higher.

What about existing home sales?
Existing home sales have recovered from the low levels after the Great Recession and are roughly back to the levels of 15-20 years ago.

existing home sales
In 1992 the population of the US was about 255 million. By 2000 it was 282 million and today it is 325 million. But home sales have not increased in the last 20 years.

So are new home sales good news? Well, relatively, maybe – but absolutely? I think not.

Are you thinking about selling? Read  Which broker should I choose to sell my house?

Please contact me on 617.834.8205 or for a free market analysis and explanation of the outstanding marketing program I offer

If you are looking to buy, I will contact you immediately when a house that meets your needs is available. In this market you need to have somebody looking after your interests.

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty. Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated


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