New Home Sales in April Hit 8-Year High
Purchases of new, single-family homes jumped 16.6% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000.
WASHINGTON – The spring home buying season is off to a hot start as new single-family home sales in the U.S. marked their strongest month in more than eight years while prices also jumped to a record high.
Sales of new single-family houses in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000, according to estimates released jointly on Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This is 16.6% above the revised March rate of 531,000 and is 23.8% above the April 2015 estimate of 500,000. The median sales price of new houses sold in April was $321,100; the average sales price was $379,800 – an increase of 9.7% from a year earlier and the highest level on record.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was $243,000. This represents a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales rate.
Data for February and March were revised to show 39,000 more units sold than previously reported. Economists had forecast new home sales, which account for about 10.2% of the housing market, rising to only a 523,000 unit-rate last month.
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“Builders remain optimistic about the housing market, and this month’s jump in new home sales is a positive sign that growing demand will keep the housing sector on an upward trajectory through the spring buying season,” National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Ed Brady said in a prepared statement.
Going forward in 2016, rising home sales combined with tight inventory will translate into increased housing production, especially as job creation continues and mortgage rates remain low, according to NAHB.
Regionally, new home sales rose by 52.8% in the Northeast, 18.8% in the West and 15.8% in the South. Sales fell by 4.8% in the Midwest.
New residential sales data for May will be released on June 23.
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