New Home Sales Jumped in December

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After falling in November, new home sales rebounded in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 842,000, an increase of 1.6% compared with November and up 15.2% compared with December 2019, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Regionally, and year over year, new home sales were up 24.2% in the Midwest, 21.2% in the Northeast, 18.9% in the West and 17.6% in the South.

An estimated 811,000 new homes were sold in 2020 – an increase of 18.8% compared with 683,000 in 2019.

The median sales price of new home sold in December was $355,900. The average sales price was $394,900.

As of the end of the month there were about 302,000 new homes available for sale in the U.S., about a 4.3-month supply at the current sales rate.

“Sales growth continues in lower cost, lower density markets,” says Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in a statement. “Indeed, the Midwest posted a 24 percent sales gain in 2020. Looking forward, builders are concerned that increased regulatory burdens in 2021 could hurt housing affordability.”

“While the market remains solid, median home prices are increasing due to higher building material costs, most notably softwood lumber, and a shift to larger homes,” adds Robert Dietz, chief economist for NAHB.

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