New Home Sales Show Strength in September
Thursday, November 2, 2017
September's new home sales data delivered some positive news for a housing market that has recently shown signs of sluggishness. Sales contracts for newly-built, single-family homes grew 18.9% in September and are running 8.6% higher on a year-to-date basis.
Inventory levels of new homes have been rising, but currently register at only a five-months' supply. Moreover, the largest gains in new-home sales are homes listed in inventory but that have not begun construction – a clear signal that additional home building is needed.
Another indication of unmet demand is the rise in home prices, which recently posted an annual gain of 6.1%, according to the Case-Shiller Index. However, the higher prices have not negatively affected the national homeownership rate, which increased to 63.7% during the second quarter, making it the fifth consecutive quarter of noticeable gains. Recent gains for homeownership appear to mark a turning point for housing demand.