November New Home Sales Soar for Third Straight Month

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The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Monday morning that sales of new homes in November rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000, an increase of 17.5% above the downwardly revised October rate of 624,000 and a rise of 26.6% compared with the November 2016 rate of 579,000. The consensus estimate from a survey of economists expected a rate of around 650,000. The October rate was revised downward by 61,000.

At the peak in 2005, new home sales posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.4 million. September’s annual rate of sales was the highest for the month in the past 10 years.

The Census Bureau also reported that the median sales price for new homes sold in November rose by $5,900 from $312,800 in October to $318,700, and the average sales price fell by $23,100 to $377,100. At the end of November the number of new homes for sale totaled 283,000, up by 1,000 month over month, and represented a supply of 4.6 months at the current sales rate.

In November, 45% of the estimated 52,000 monthly sales were sales for homes priced at less than $300,000. That is down two percentage points compared with the October rate. Sales of homes priced between $300,000 and $399,999 rose by three points to 25% of all sales. Sales of homes in the range of $400,000 to $499,999 fell from 17% to 14%, and sales were flat at 10% for homes sold in a range of $500,000 to $749,999. Home sales for properties priced above $750,000 accounted for 5% of all new home sales in November, up a point compared with September.

In the South, home sales fell by 2,000 month over month in November to 147,000 in October and 151,000 in August as the region recovers from the effects of last summer’s hurricanes. Home sales rose for a third consecutive month in the West, up from 70,000 in September and 74,000 in October to 75,000 in November.

On a non-seasonally-adjusted basis, year-to-date new home sales are up 9.1% nationally. In the West new home sales are up 12.8%, while in the South sales are up 7%. In the Midwest sales are up 3% and in the Northeast they are up 27.2%.