Sales of newly built, single-family homes increased 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000 units in June, their fastest pace in the last five years, according to data released by the Department of House and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“New-home buyers are returning to the market in larger numbers as firming prices, shrinking inventories of homes for sale and improving local economies convince them that now is the time to make their move,” National Association of Home Builders chairman Rick Judson said in a statement. “Meanwhile, the very low supply of new homes on the market is indicative of the difficulty that builders are having in keeping up with demand due to availability issues with regard to materials, credit, labor and lots for development.”
“The takeaway from this report is that the housing recovery is solidly on track and isn’t going to be derailed by slightly higher mortgage rates,” National Association of Home Builders chief economist David Crowe said in a statement. “After years of fence-sitting, buyers are back and are ready to move forward with an investment in homeownership.”
Three out of four regions saw solid gains in new-home sales activity in June, with the Northeast, South and West posting increases of 18.5, 10.9 and 13.8 percent, respectively. The Midwest posted an 11.8 percent decline.