New home sales in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 719,000, an increase of 1.3% compared with a revised rate of 710,000 in October and an increase of 16.9% compared with 615,000 in November 2018, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Regionally, and on a year-to-date basis, new home sales increased 14.5% in the South and 12% in the West. However, new home sales were down 10.4% in the Northeast and 7.6% in the Midwest.
Helping to boost new home sales in November was increased construction: As of the end fo the month there were about 323,000 new homes available for sale – a 5.4-month supply at the current sales rate – up slightly from 322,000 as of the end of October and up from 321,000 as of the end of September.
The median sales price for a new single-family home sold in November 2019 was $330,800. The average sales price was $388,200.
“Fueled by the limited number of resales available for purchase, low interest rates and low unemployment, new home sales are finishing the year strong,” says Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in a statement.
“With almost all the 2019 data in, the housing rebound continued through second half of the year,” adds Robert Dietz, chief economist for NAHB. “New home sales are running 10 percent higher than in 2018, and high levels of builder confidence point to production gains going into 2020.”