New home sales slip in October

The average price of new single-family homes is down 3% compared to a year ago.

BY Andy Carlo

Low mortgage rates and a solid economy continue to place housing on solid ground.

Sales of new single-family homes dipped just 0.7% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 730,000 from the revised September rate of 738,000, according to the latest Monthly New Residential Sales report from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The latest figure is 31.6% above the October 2018 estimate of 557,000, however.

The median sales price of new houses solid in October was $316,700, a 2.1% increase from the median price of $310,200 from September, but down 3.5% from the median price of $328,300 for October 2018.

The average sales price climbed nearly 4.5% to $383,300 in October from the September average sales price of $366,900. The latest average is 3% below the average price of $394,900 for October last year.

“Forty-five percent of homes sold in October were priced below $300,000, which is an indication that more millennial buyers are taking advantage of low mortgage rates and entering into the marketplace,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.

The seasonally‐adjusted estimate for new homes for sale at the end of October was 322,000, representing a 5.3-month supply at the current sales rate.

“For-sale inventory remains tight as this marks the third consecutive month below a six-month supply,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, NAHB’s Assistant Vice President of Forecasting and Analysis. “The low inventory rates show there is a need for added construction to meet growing demand.”

The full Monthly New Residential Sales report for October can be read here.

Last week the Department of Commerce reported that housing starts in October increased 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.314 million from the revised September rate of 1.266 million.

Also last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that total existing-home sales increased 1.9% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.46 million in October.


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