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New Home Sales  
Released On 5/23/2012 10:00:00 AM For Apr, 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Home Sales - Level - SAAR328 K335 K325 K to 355 K343 K

New home sales are inching forward, to a moderately higher-than-expected annual rate of 343,000 in April vs the Econoday consensus for 335,000. Annual revisions added to nine of the last 13 months including March (up 4,000 to 332,000) and February (up 5,000 to 358,000). The revisions indicate the depth of the trough that new home sales are trying to climb out of is slightly less severe than previously thought. But monthly comparisons don't show much momentum at all with April barely above the 339,000 rates of January and December.

The regional look in April is mixed as the South, which is by far the largest region, posted a double-digit decline in the month. Other regions were positive. Another positive is supply which is down to a recovery low 5.1 months, down from 5.2 in March.

There have been indications that home prices are firming but it's not evident in this report where the median monthly price rose slightly while the average price slipped. Year-on-year prices show moderating growth for both the median and the average, now in the mid single digits for both.

There's not much initial reaction in the markets to this report which in sum should help ease concern, though only slightly, over the housing outlook. Next data on home sales will be pending sales of existing homes to be posted on Wednesday next week.

Consensus Outlook
New home sales came in at a 328,000 unit annual rate in March, slightly more than expected-largely due to upward revisions to prior months. February was revised 40,000 higher to 353,000 and January was revised up 11,000 to 329,000. It has taken a while but supply is finally looking in line. Supply of new homes on the market stood at 5.3 months from February's 5.0.

New home sales measure the number of newly constructed homes with a committed sale during the month. The level of new home sales indicates housing market trends and, in turn, economic momentum and consumer purchases of furniture and appliances.  Why Investors Care
There is no question that lower interest rates boost home sales. Other factors also impact housing decisions, such as employment and income growth, and wealth stemming from stock market gains.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2012 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/262/243/234/245/236/257/258/239/2610/2411/2812/27
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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