New home sales were expected to see a slight drop in January but instead sales jumped to a 10-month high, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau.
- M-O-M: Sales of new single-family houses jumped 7.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 670,000 in January, well above the original 2.3% jump reported for December.
- Y-O-Y: Despite the jump, sales are still down 19.4% compared to the same time last year.
10-Month High. The jump in sales pushes the annual rate to the highest level since March’s level (707k).
Inventory. The monthly supply of inventory fell for the second straight month to 7.9, down from 9.0 months in December and the lowest level since March 2022. The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was down to 439,000.
Price. The median sales price of new houses sold in January was $427,500, down 3.0% from December and down 13.0% from the October peak ($491,300).
- The average sales price was $474,400.
BOTTOM LINE: People wanted to buy in January and with existing-home inventory levels continuing to fall new homes saw the windfall.