The pace of new home sales remained essentially unchanged at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000 units in August according to recently released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD. The stagnation of home sales follows the substantial increase the industry saw in July.
“New-home sales in August effectively tied the pace they set in the previous month, when they were the strongest we’ve seen in more than two years — so this is really a continuation of the good news we’ve been getting on the housing front,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “Looking at the big picture, sales have been trending gradually upward since the middle of last year as favorable interest rates and prices have driven more consumers to get back in the market for a newly built home.”
Regionally, the South was the only region of the U.S. to post a decline of 4.9 percent. However, numbers in the Atlanta new homes market look to be holding steady. “I suspect [August] sales volume will equal July sales volume. August median new home sales prices appear to be higher both month over month and year over year. If this continues to hold, Atlanta will have experienced six straight months of new home median price increases,” commented Eugene James, Director of the Atlanta Region for Metrostudy.
In addition to steady home sales, the inventory of new homes for sale remains at a historic low of just 141 units in August, which is a four to five month supply if the current sales pace keeps up.
The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, multifamily construction, remodeling, design, property management, subcontracting, building product manufacturing, housing finance and other aspects of light commercial and residential construction. The NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local associations nationwide, and their builder members will construct about 80 percent of new housing projects this year.