New Home Sales Rise Sharply in June

New homeThe U.S. Census Bureau this morning released data on new single-family home sales for June. Sales rose 8.3% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000, from a downwardly revised May sales figure of 459,000. Economists had been expecting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000. The June rate is 38.1% above the rate for June 2012. At the peak in 2005, new home sales posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.4 million.

The Census Bureau also reported that the median sales price for new homes sold in June was $249,700, about 5.3% below the June median, and the average sales price was $295,000, down about 4.1% from May. The median sales price for a new house in May was $263,900, and the average sales price was $307,800.

At the end of June, the number of new homes for sale totaled 161,000, a supply of 3.9 months, essentially flat with inventory at the end of May. Months of supply actually contracted in June, from 4.1 months of supply in May.

The sharp price drops in May follow an earlier sharp drop from April to May. The tighter inventory suggests that prices could resume their rise until the supply of new houses increases.

As we noted earlier this morning, mortgage loan rates fell again last week. As new homes are built, interest rates are likely to fall further and new home sales should pick up.

Filed under: Housing
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