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New-home sales surge in November


New-home sales hit an eight-month high in November after sliding in recent months, according to new government tracking data.

The annualized pace of new-home sales in November was 657,000 units, up 16.9 percent from a weak October reading of 562,000, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday.

newsaleNovember's sales were still 7.7 percent lower than the pace of a year earlier. New-home sales in November 2017 represent the current peak for the post-recession era at an annualized pace of 712,000.

Notably, the cost of new homes plunged this past November, an indicator that builders have been producing more affordable homes. The median cost of a new home in November 2018 was $302,400, down from $325,100 a month earlier.

“Builders continue to address mounting affordability woes,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. “Builders are doing all they can to hold the line on costs to meet this demand, particularly at the entry-level market.”

Dietz said solid job growth and household formations should support demand for new homes. 

Regionally, the sales data was all over the map. In the Northeast, sales of new homes doubled in November from the October level. They also were up by 30.5 percent in the Midwest and by 20.6 percent in the South. In the West, however, new-home sales declined by 5.9 percent from October to November.

Year over year in November, new-home sales rose by 15 percent in the Northeast, but were down by 25 percent in the West. In the Midwest and South regions, sales were down 2.5 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, compared to November 2017.

One caveat about the regional data is that it is based on a relatively small sampling size and is subject to wide margins of error. The census bureau could substantially revise these figures in the coming months.  


 

Questions? Contact at (425) 984-6017 or victorw@scotsmanguide.com.

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