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New home sales trend higher in November


The National Association of Home Builders reported in December that sales of newly built, single-family homes increased 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 719,000 units in November 2019, off a downwardly revised October reading, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Census Bureau.

NAHB chairman Greg Ugalde notes the numbers are a sign that new home sales are on an upward path, as this was the fourth consecutive month that sales topped 700,000.

“Fueled by the limited number of resales available for purchase, low interest rates and low unemployment, new home sales are finishing the year strong,” says Ugalde, who is also a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.

“With almost all the 2019 data in, the housing rebound continued through second half of the year,” NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz said in a statement. “New home sales are running 10 percent higher than in 2018, and high levels of builder confidence point to production gains going into 2020.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed, or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the November reading of 719,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

Regionally, and on a year-to-date basis, new home sales are 14.5 percent higher in the South and 12 percent higher in the West. Sales are down 10.4 percent in the Northeast and 7.6 percent in the Midwest.

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This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue.

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