New Home Sales Exceed Expectations in November

Window & Door
February 4, 2019
Markets
Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000 units in November after an upwardly revised October report, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This marks the highest sales pace since March 2018. On a year-to-date basis, however, sales are down 7.7 percent from this time in 2017.

The sales report was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

“The sales increase was fueled by a notable uptick in homes sold at the affordable end of the market,” says Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a custom home builder from LaPlace, Louisiana. "There is clearly a demand for new homes even as builders continue to grapple with supply-side challenges, including shortages of lots and labor and higher building material costs stemming from tariffs."

"Solid job growth and growing household formations should support future demand for housing even as builders continue to address mounting affordability woes," says NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 330,000 in November. The median sales price fell to $302,400, as the market has shifted to lower-cost houses.

Regionally, on a monthly basis, new home sales jumped 100 percent in the Northeast, 30.5 percent in the Midwest and 20.6 percent in the South. Sales fell 5.9 percent in the West.