New Home Sales Reach Strongest Pace Since September

(Illustration courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau/HUD)

Sales of new single‐family houses increased 8.8% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 693,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD.

The monthly New Residential Homes report said the median sales price of new houses sold in March was $430,700 and the average sales price equaled $524,800.

Selma Hepp, Chief Economist with CoreLogic, called new home sales “a bright spot” in the housing industry. “Homebuilder confidence and buying incentives are helping to counterbalance high values and interest rates,” she said. “However, compared to years in the past, new home sales still aren’t performing as well as necessary to help reduce the high demand for new homes in the near term.”

Wells Fargo Economics, Charlotte, predicted new home sales will continue to gradually improve, with a “sturdy” macroeconomy and structural affordability and availability constraints in the resale market remaining as tailwinds. “That noted, higher interest rates and rising existing supply could weigh on the new home market moving forward,” said in a commentary.

HUD and Census said the seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 477,000, or an 8.3-month supply at the current sales rate.