New home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000 in October, down 0.7% compared with a revised 738,000 for September but up 31.6% compared with 557,000 in October 2018, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Regionally, and on a year-to-date basis, new home sales increased 15.7% in the South and 9.1% in the West. However, sales are down 11.1% in the Northeast and 7.5% in the Midwest.
The median sales price of a new home sold in October was $316,700. The average sales price was $383,300.
As of the end of the month, there were about 322,000 new homes available for sale – about a 5.3-month supply at the current sales rate.
“Forty-five percent of homes sold in October were priced below $300,000, which is an indication that more millennial buyers are taking advantage of low mortgage rates and entering into the marketplace,” says Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in a statement.
“For-sale inventory remains tight as this marks the third consecutive month below a six-month supply,” adds Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, assistant vice president of forecasting and analysis for NAHB. “The low inventory rates show there is a need for added construction to meet growing demand.”