Data released Thursday shows contracts for new, single-family home sales in the US increased in August by +7.1% to a 713,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to estimates from the joint release of HUD and the Census Bureau.
For it’s part, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), rose +1.6% from 105.6 in July to 107.3 in August, the second-highest level since 2018.
On a year-over-year basis, sales were +2.5% higher than a year ago.
Fast on the heels of positive data for US existing home sales, the increase in new home sales came off a upwardly revised July estimate, which was increased from an initial reading of 635,000 to a new estimate of 666,000. Year-over-year, the August estimate is +18% higher. Sales continue to grow in August supported by lower mortgage rates.
Following the housing bubble and bust, the “distressing gap” appeared mostly because of distressed sales.
Even though distressed sales are down significantly, following the bust, new home builders focused on more expensive homes – so the gap has only closed slowly. — Calculated Risk
Total sales of new homes in the US for the first eight months of 2019 (474,000) were +6.4% higher than the comparable total for 2018 (445,000). We expect the volume of new home sales to continue to expand along the current modest pace, subject to monthly volatility and supply-side cost concerns. — HUD and US Census Bureau
New homes for sale inventory increased +2.5% from a year ago to a level of 326,000 single-family homes for sale in August. The current months’ supply stands at a balanced level of 5.5. However, standing inventory increased in the “Completed” construction category (81,000 units), suggesting an increase in inventory taking longer to be sold.
Median new home sales price increased +7.5% in August to US$328,400 compared to July and +2.2% higher from a year ago (US$321,400).