NAHB notes steep increase in new home sales

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The National Association of Home Builders reports that sales of newly built, single-family homes in July had risen to their highest level since the Great Recession, up 13.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 776,000 units in June, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The June rate is 6.9 percent higher than the June 2019 pace.

“While Wall Street may have been expecting a smaller gain, anyone following the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index would know these numbers are in line with what we are hearing from builders,” Chuck Fowke, NAHB chairman and custom home builder from Tampa, Fla., said in a statement. “Builders are moving to ramp up production to meet growing demand.”

The NHAB is seeing an increasing consumer demand in the suburbs, exurbs and rural areas, according to its chief economist, Robert Dietz.

“At the same time, builders are dealing with supply-side concerns such as rising material costs, particularly lumber, which surpassed its 2018 price peak this week. Nonetheless, low inventory levels point to construction gains ahead,” said Dietz.

Inventory is down to about a five month’s supply, its lowest since 2016, according to the report.

The median sales price was $329,200, up from last year’s $311,800.

On a year-to-date basis, new home sales were up 22 percent in the Northeast, 12.6 percent in the Midwest, 0.2 percent in the South, and 3.1 percent in the West.

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