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New single-family home sales rise in August

Sales soar in the Northeast, but stagger in the South.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Sales of new single-family houses in August increased 3.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000 from the revised July rate of 608,000, the U.S. Commerce Department reported today.

The latest report is also 12.7% above the August 2017 estimate of 558,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in August increased 1.9% $320,200 while the average sales price grew 5.2% from a year ago to $388,400.

Housing affordability remains a concern for the National Home Builders Association (NAHB).

“New home sales have ticked up in August, due to positive demographics and a strong overall economy,” said Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “However, housing affordability remains a serious concern and builders must manage supply-side costs and stiff regulatory hurdles to keep prices competitive.”

The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August was 318,000, representing a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate.

Regionally, sales in the Northeast jumped 47.8% to 34,000 while sales in the West increased 9.1% to 168,000. Midwest sales also increased, rising 2.7% to 77,000. Sales in the South declined 1.7% to 350,000.

“Housing affordability has taken a toll on new home sales over the summer, and there could be market volatility in the months ahead as communities grapple with the aftereffects of Hurricane Florence,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Still, we expect the overall housing market to grow this year as demand continues to increase among millennials and other newcomers.”

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