Sales of newly built, single-family homes continued to expand, rising 6.1 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“February’s increase in new home sales is consistent with builders’ growing confidence in the housing market,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “Builders are encouraged by heightened consumer activity and by the expectation that regulatory costs will decline in the year ahead.”
“The uptick in mortgage interest rates is having a minimal effect on new home sales thus far,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Ongoing job creation, rising household formations and affordable home prices should keep the market on an upward trajectory in 2017.”
The inventory of new home sales for sale was 266,000 in February, which is a 5.4-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold was $296,200.
Regionally, new home sales increased 30.9 percent in the Midwest, 7.5 percent in the West and 3.6 percent in the South. Sales fell 21.4 percent in the Northeast.