New home sales tumble in July
Sales plummet 16.1% in the South and 14.2% in the West.
Sales of new single-family homes fell 12.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000 from the revised June rate of 728,000, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today.
The latest figures are 4.3% above the July 2018 estimate of 609,000, however.
In response to July’s numbers, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the falloff isn’t as bad as it looks given the sharp revision of June’s numbers.
“New home sales were sharply revised upward in June to a post-recession high annual rate of 728,000,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While we continue to see volatility in the monthly numbers, sales continue to trend in a slightly positive direction and are in line with our forecast.”
NAHB Chairman Ugalde noted that, “Builder confidence continues to trend upward as lower interest rates provide for more favorable buying conditions.”
The median sales price of new houses sold in July 2019 was $312,800, rising 2.2% from the previous month. The average sales price was $388,000, up 9.4% from June 2019.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sales at the end of July was 337,000 representing a 6.4-month supply at the current sales rate.
Regionally, sales in the Northeast increased 50% to 39,000. But sales fell 11.1% in the Midwest to 56,000, tumbled 16.1% in the South to 359,000 and dropped 14.2% in the West to 181,000.
On a year-to-date basis, new home sales in July are 7.2% higher in the South and 9.5% higher in the West. Sales are down 15.4% in the Northeast and 12.4% in the Midwest.
The report follows the National Association of Realtors latest existing-home sales data that showed July sales rising 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.42 million.
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