August New Home Sales Soar to 6-Year High

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The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released data on new single-family home sales for August. Sales rose 16.3% month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, from an upwardly revised July sales figure of 427,000. The consensus estimate for August called for sales of 430,000.

The August rate was the highest in more than six years and the month-over-month gain of 18% is the largest since January of 1992. Other recent data on housing is less robust, however. For example, construction starts were down sharply in August.

The August rate is 33% above the rate for August 2013. At the peak in 2005, new home sales posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.4 million.

The Census Bureau also reported that the median sales price for new homes sold in August rose from $269,800 in July to $275,000 and the average sales price rose from $339,100 to $347,900. At the end of August the number of new homes for sale slipped from a July total of 205,000 to 203,000, a supply of 4.8 months at the current sales rate.

In August, 58% of sales were for homes priced at less than $300,000, and the percentage of homes sold in the $200,000 to $299,999 price range remained flat at 33%.

ALSO READ: August Sales of Existing Homes Slip as Cash Buyers Pull Back

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