Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 26, 2018

The growth of median new home sale prices in the United States has decelerated somewhat in the first months of 2018, repeating a pattern that we last back in early 2017.

Trailing Twelve Month Average of Median New Home Sale Prices, July 2012 - May 2018

Overall, the most recent trend for the trailing twelve month average of median new home sale prices, which has been in place since September 2015, is continuing to grow at an average rate of $987 per month. Forecasts indicate that U.S. house prices will continue to grow at twice the combined rate of household income and inflation, which is attributable to continuing shortage conditions in the U.S. housing market.

The recent deceleration in the growth of median new home sale prices is a bit easier to see in the raw sale price data for new homes, where they have generally been on a downtrend since December 2017. The following chart shows both average and median new home sale prices for each month from January 2018 through the preliminary data for May 2018.

Median and Average Monthly U.S. New Home Sale Prices, January 2000 through May 2018

The U.S. Census Bureau revises each month's data three times after first reporting it, so the data for May 2018 won't be finalized until September 2018. The initial data will most likely be revised upward, owing to the later reporting of more expensive new homes.

Finally, for the sake of completeness, here is all the raw new home sale price data going back to January 1963, which we're showing on a logarithmic scale.

Median and Average Monthly U.S. New Home Sale Prices, January 1963 through May 2018

In this chart, we've indicated the periods that it has taken for median new home sale prices to sustainably double in value over time, where "sustainably" means having doubled in value without subsequently falling back below that higher price level.

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau. Median and Average Sales Prices of New Homes Sold in the United States. [Excel Spreadsheet]. Accessed 25 June 2018.

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