The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Tuesday morning that sales of new homes in August rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000, an increase of 5.7% from the upwardly revised July rate of 522,000 and an increase of 21.6% compared with the August 2014 rate of 454,000. The consensus estimate from a survey of economists expected a rate of around 515,000.
The revision to the July rate added 15,000 to the month’s total, making the August rise even more impressive. The August rate is the highest in more than seven years.
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 nearly $12,000 to $292,700 and the average sales price was $353,400. At the end of August, the number of new homes for sale totaled 216,000 and represented a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales rate.
In August, 51% of the estimated 45,000 monthly sales were for homes priced at less than $300,000. That represents a three-point decrease compared with July sales. Sales of homes priced between $300,000 and $399,999 remained flat with July at 22%. Sales of homes in the range of $400,000 to $499,999 rose from 10% of all sales to 11%, and sales increased month-over-month from 9% to 10% for homes sold in a range of $500,000 to $749,999. Home sales for properties price above $750,000 were flat with July sales and accounted for 5% of all new home sales.