New Home Sales Inched Up 1 Percent in July

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New home sales increased 1% in July compared with June but were down 27% compared with July 2020, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sales of new single‐family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000, up from 701,000 the previous month but down from 972,000 a year ago.

Regionally, and on a year-to-date basis, new home sales were up 7.5% in the Northeast, 10.6% in the Midwest, 9.1% in the South, and 0.5% in the West. These significant increases are due in part to lower sales volume during the onslaught of the COVID crisis a year ago.

The median sales price of new home sold in July was $390,500. That’s up about 18.5% from a year ago. The average sales price was $446,000.

As of the end of the month there were about 367,000 new homes available for sale in the U.S., about a 6.2-month supply at the current sales rate.

“New home sales have leveled of this summer after a period of rising costs and strong demand,” says Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in a statement.

“While new home sales are up 6.9 percent on a year-to-date basis, they are down 27 percent in July compared to the same time last year,” adds Robert Dietz, chief economist for NAHB. “Builders will need to watch local home prices relative to incomes, given recent gains in building materials and other construction costs.”

Photo: Todd Kent

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