The U.S. Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development released September 24 new home sales and house price data.
New home sales comprise 10% of real estate activity and are considered a leading housing market indicator as they are recorded when contracts are signed.
Continuing to recover after slight drops in the summer, sales of new US single-family homes improved in August, as did the median price of newly built houses, compared to the previous month. There were 740,000 new homes on the market in August, which is up +1.5% from 729,000 in July, and is down -24.3% from a phenomenal 977,000 in August 2020.
At the sales pace in August it would take a normal 6.1 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, similar to the 6.2 months seen in July.
The median sales price ticked up to US$390,000, from US$390,000 in July. The August price is up an astonishing +20% from one year ago, when it was $325,500. House supply has lagged behind demand, as builders are constrained by high lumber prices as well as shortages of other building materials, household appliances, land, and labour.
The ratio of homes sold in July either still under construction or yet to be built was an incredible 78%.
Shrewd investors know that construction framing softwood lumber prices are a good leading indicator for US housing activity, including home building and home sales. Don’t miss out, get lumber price data updates directly to your desktop every Friday morning.– Madison’s lumber reporter
Madison’s Benchmark Top-Six Softwood Lumber and Panel Prices: Monthly Averages
Looking at lumber prices, after rising incrementally since Labour Day, for the week of September 17, 2021 the price of Western S-P-F 2×4 #2&Btr KD (RL) remained flat at US$480 mfbm. That week’s price was up by +$33, or +7%, from one month ago when it was $447.
STAY AHEAD of US housing price data by getting access to softwood lumber prices. Released every Friday for that week, since 1952 Madison’s Lumber Prices is used by the forest products industry as a price guide for North American construction framing dimension softwood lumber. These are, of course, the inputs into US and Canadian home building materials.– Madison’s lumber reporter
- Madison’s Lumber Prices, weekly, are a good forecast indicator of US home builder’s current lumber buying activity ——> DETAILS
US Median New House Prices August and Benchmark Softwood Lumber Prices September: 2021
Builder backlogs of projects awaiting construction remain elevated and indicate residential building will stay firm in coming months and contribute to economic growth.
Benchmark Softwood Lumber Commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir Price: September 2021
When compared to the same week last year, of $960, the price of Western S-P-F 2×4 for the week of September 17, 2021 was down by -$480, or -50%. Compared to two years’ ago when it was $382, that week’s price was up by +$98, or +26%.