Sales of new single-family homes flat, outlook is strong

by Steve Randall26 Mar 2018

There was little change in sales of newly-built single-family homes in the US in February.

After the HUD and US Census Bureau’s upwardly-revised figures for January, December and November, last month’s sales were down 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000 units, but the overall outlook remains positive.

“The recent upward revisions to the sales numbers reflect our forecast for a gradual strengthening of the single-family housing sector in 2018,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Demographic tailwinds point to higher demand for single-family homes in the months ahead. Combined with solid job market data, we expect more consumers to enter the housing market this year.”

Sales of new homes gained 19.6% in the Northeast and 9% in the South but were down 17.6% in the West and 3.7% in the Midwest.

The data shows a fairly healthy inventory of new homes available for sale with 305,000 units amounting to 5.9 months’ supply at current sales pace.

The median sales price of newly-built single-family homes in February was $326,800.

“New home sales are at a steady level, which is consistent with our measures of solid builder confidence in the housing market,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “As housing demand grows, builders need to manage increasing costs for labor, lots and building materials to keep their homes competitively priced.”

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