– Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 312,000 units in June, according to figures released today by the U.S. Commerce Department today.
“Today’s report shows that new-home sales remain in a holding pattern at relatively low levels,” said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. “This reflects what we are hearing from builders in the field, who continue to see uncertainty in the marketplace and are reacting accordingly by keeping inventories at a record low. With inventories at razor-thin margins, any uptick in demand will generate increased building activity in the months ahead.”
“June’s sales numbers illustrate how the fledgling housing and economic recovery go hand-in-hand,” said NAHB senior economist Robert Denk. “Improving confidence in the broader economic recovery — in particular, solid job growth — will bring buyers back into the housing market. But as policymakers debate major changes to the housing finance system, higher downpayment requirements, reducing conforming loan limits and whether to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction, this only fuels consumer uncertainty and keeps the housing market recovery from gaining any real momentum.”
Regionally, new-home sales were mixed in June. Sales declined 15.8 percent in the Northeast and 12.7 percent in the West and posted gains of 9.5 percent in the Midwest and 3.4 percent in the South from the previous month.
Meanwhile, the inventory of new homes for sale continued a downward trend in June, falling 1 percent to 164,000 units. This marks the lowest inventory number on record and represents a 6.3-month supply at the current sales pace.