New Home Sales Start Year on a Positive Note

February 24, 2017

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 3.7 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This increase in new home sales is in line with our forecast for a steady, gradual recovery of the housing market,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “However, the pace of growth may be hampered by supply-side headwinds, such as shortages of lots and labor.” 

“We can expect further growth in new home sales throughout the year, spurred on by employment gains and a rise in household formations,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “As the supply of existing homes remains tight, more consumers will turn to new construction.”

The inventory of new home sales for sale was 265,000 in January, which is a 5.7-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold was $312,900.

Regionally, new home sales increased 15.8 percent in the Northeast, 14.8 percent in the Midwest and 4.3 percent in the South. Sales fell 4.4 percent in the West.