New Home Sales Rebounded In August

After tumbling 8.1% in June and another 2.4% in July, sales of new single-family homes rebounded in August, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units, an 18% increase compared to the revised July rate of 427,000 units and a 33% increase compared to the August 2013 estimate of 379,000 units, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The median sales price of a new home sold in August 2014 was $275,600; the average sales price was $347,900. As of August, there were about 203,000 new homes for sale, about a 4.8-month supply.

The news comes just as home builders are increasing their efforts to bring more inventory onto the market: In August, the Census Bureau reported that housing starts jumped in July to reach the highest level in eight months. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.1 million new units was 15.7% above the revised June estimate of 945,000 units and 21.7% above the July 2013 rate of 898,000 units.

‘This jump in sales activity [in August] is in line with our latest surveys, which indicate builders are seeing increased traffic and more serious buyers in the market for single-family homes,’ says Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in a statement, adding that with the August increase, sales of new homes had reached the highest level in six years.

‘This robust level of new-home sales activity is a good sign that the housing recovery is moving towards higher ground,’ adds David Crowe, chief economist for the NAHB. ‘Historically low mortgage rates, attractive home prices and firming job and economic growth should keep the housing market moving forward in 2014.’

Regionally, new home sales rose 50% in the West, 29.2% in the Northeast and 7.8% in the South. Sales were unchanged in the Midwest.

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