New Home Sales Rebound in June but Affordability Concerns Persist
Sales of newly built, single-family homes increased 7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000 units in June from a downwardly revised reading in May, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. On a year-to-date basis, new home sales for 2019 are 2.2 percent higher than the same period in 2018.
“Though there is a clear demand for new homes, builders continue to wrestle with affordability headwinds, including shortages of buildable lots and skilled labor, that are constraining sales,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.
“The June figures are in line with our forecast predicting a modest 3.5 percent growth in new home sales for 2019, due largely to affordability concerns,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, AVP for Forecasting and Analysis at NAHB.
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 June reading of 646,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.
The inventory of new homes for sale was 338,000 in June, representing a 6.3 months’ supply. The median sales price was $310,400, nearly identical to the $310,500 median price from a year earlier.
Regionally, and on a year-over-year basis, new home sales are 19.4 percent higher in the West and 9.5 higher in the South. Sales are down 50 percent in the Northeast and 17.6 percent in the Midwest.
The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 700 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.