The median sales price of new houses sold in July was $312,800 and the average sales price was $388,000. The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 337,000, which represents a supply of 6.4 months at the current sales rate.
“While consumer optimism remained upbeat and resulted in higher retail spending, the prospect of continuing low mortgage rates has removed the sense of urgency for buyers of new homes,” he said. “The drop in sales was accentuated by double-digit declines in all the major regions, save for the Northeast. The median price of a new home reached $312,800, a 4.5 percent slide from a year ago. While the price decline may be encouraging to prospective buyers, 56.0 percent of new homes sold at prices above $300,000, which left entry-level buyers mostly window-shopping.”
“It is worth keeping in mind that new home sales are not simply a reflection of demand, but perhaps more importantly of supply,” he said. “If builders construct ten homes, then at maximum only ten new home sales are possible. Single-family housing starts this year are lower by 3 percent. The median days to complete a new home sale after completion has been reasonably swift in June at 3.4 months. Demand is clearly there; supply not.”
“New home sales were sharply revised upward in June to a post-recession high annual rate of 728,000,” said Dietz. “While we continue to see volatility in the monthly numbers, sales continue to trend in a slightly positive direction and are in line with our forecast.”