New Home Sales Stateside Top Estimates

24 June, 2017, 00:07 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Reuters

The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that sales of existing home, for which there is a much larger market than for new homes, increased 1.1 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 5.62 million. Sales of previously owned homes also rose last month. That followed a 7.9 percent drop in sales in April which was the biggest monthly decline in eight months.

"Following today's better-than-expected data, and upward revisions to April's numbers, our residential investment tracking estimate stands higher by two-tenths at 2.9 percent".

With sales at an annual pace of 610,000 in May, new home sales were stronger than last month and exceeded economists forecasts for 593,000 sales.

"The name of the housing market game over the past few years has been low supply, not low demand", said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. Sales were up 8.9% on a year-on-year basis in May.

The rate of new home sales in April was upwardly revised to 593k, while March's sales were upwardly revised by 2k to 644k. "As home sales continue to pick up, that's further evidence that we have a supply problem, not a demand problem".

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The median sales price of new houses sold in May was $345,800, while the average sales price was $406,400. Housing starts declined for the third straight month in May, as builders expressed concern about tight availability of lots and a labor shortage.

Year-over-year, new-home sales rose by 15 percent in the South region and by 14 percent in the West compared to the May 2016 level.

The supply of new houses available for sale was unchanged at 5.3 months' worth, the same as in April.

Regionally, new home sales increased 13.3 percent in the West and 6.2 percent in the South. Sales fell 10.8 percent in the Northeast and 25.7 percent in the Midwest.

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