New Home Sales Jumped 12 Percent in November But Remained Down From a Year Ago


New home sales in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 744,000, an increase of 12.4% compared with October but down 14.0% compared with November 2020, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The median sales price of a new home sold in November was $416,900 – 18.8% higher compared with November 2020. The average sales price was $481,700.

As of the end of November there were 402,000 new homes available for sale in the U.S. – about a 6.5-month supply at the current sales rate.

First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi on this morning’s new-home sales data for November in case it fits in anything you are working on.

“By stage of construction, the share of completed homes sold was 22 percent, down from 25 percent one year ago,” says Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist for First American, in a statement. “Prior to the pandemic, completed homes made up the largest share of new homes sold. Today, it is homes under construction. The share of completed homes/ready-to-occupy inventory in November was 9.7 percent, down from 14.5 percent one year ago. While the share of new-home inventory that is not started increased from 22 percent to 27 percent.

“The record-level new-home prices may be pricing out some buyers,” Kushi adds. “In November 2020, 33 percent of new-home sales were priced below $300,000. A year later, in November 2021, only 14 percent of new-home sales were priced below $300,000. Demand for new homes remains strong, but construction costs and prices have increased.

“Borrowing costs remain low, demographic-fueled demand is strong and existing-home inventory remains near record lows, making a new home an attractive option,” Kushi says. “Yet higher construction costs (labor, lumber, materials) are being passed on to buyers, resulting in higher new-home prices.”

Photo: Dillon Kydd

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