Sales of New Homes 25% Higher than July 2011, Inventory Continues to Drop

Posted on Aug 23, 2012

New home sales were up in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 units.  According to a joint release from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this was an increase of 3.2 percent from sales in June.  The June rate was adjusted upward from the 350,000 originally reported to 359,000 units. July sales were 25.3 percent higher than in July 2011 when the rate of sales was estimated at 297,000 units. 

There were 142,000 new homes for sale at the end of the reporting period compared to 143,000 in June and 165,000 in July 2011.  This represents an inventory of 4.6 months supply at the current pace of sales, down from 4.8 months in June.  Homes for sale have been on the market a median period of 8.7 months since construction was completed.

Sales of homes in New England partially recovered from a precipitous drop in June when the annual rate fell from 38,000 to 17,000.  Annual sales in the region increased 76.5 percent in July to an annual rate of 30,000, 30.4 percent higher than the rate one year earlier.  Sales in the Midwest were at the rate of 56,000 units, up 7.7 percent from June and 21.7 percent from July 2011.  The pace fell in both the South and West with the rate at 180,000 and 106,000 respectively.  This was a -1.6 percent change from June and a +9.1 percent change from one year earlier in the South and a decrease of 0.9 percent month-over-month and a 68.3 percent annual increase in the West.

The median sales price nationally of a new single-family home was $224,200 in July compared to 229,900 in July 2011 and the average price was $263,200, down from 270,300 a year earlier.

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