WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. climbed to an annual rate of 372,000 in July from 359,000 in June, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Sales in June revised up from an original reading of 350,000. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast new home sales to rise to a seasonally adjusted 365,000 last month. The biggest increase took place in the Northeast, where sales rose nearly 77% after falling 55% in June. Sales also rose 7.7% in the Midwest. In the South, sales declined by 1.6% and purchases fell 0.9% in the West. New home sales are 25.3% higher compared to one year ago. The median price of new homes, meanwhile, dropped 2.1% to $224,200 last month from $229,100 in June. And the supply of new homes available for purchase on the U.S. market fell to 4.6 months at the current sales pace from 4.8 months in the prior month. The combination of faster sales and a slow rate of construction resulted in the number of new homes on sale falling to a record low of 142,000 in July.
Posts Tagged Single-family detached home
By Jeffry Bartash
By Steve Goldstein
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Sales of existing homes climbed 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million in July, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday, coming in roughly in line with the 4.5 million consensus. The median price of existing homes climbed 9.4% year-on-year to $187,300, and inventories rose 1.3% to 2.4 million units, representing 6.4 months of supply.
By Jeffry Bartash
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Construction on new U.S. homes in June rose 6.9% to an annual rate of 760,000, the highest level since October 2008, but building permits fell slightly, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Housing starts in May were revised up to 711,000 from an original reading of 708,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected housing starts to rise in June to an annual rate of 750,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Permits for new construction, viewed as a gauge of future demand, edged 3.7% lower to an annual rate of 755,000 from 784,000 in May. Permits for single-family homes, which account for three-quarters of the housing market, rose a scant 0.6% to an annual rate of 493,000 last month. More than half of the increase in housing starts in June involved buildings with five or more units.
By Jeffry Bartash
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Sales of new single-family homes rose to an annual rate of 369,000 in May to mark the highest level in more than two years, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Monday. Sales for April were unchanged at 343,000, seasonally adjusted. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new-home sales to rise to annual rate of 348,000 in May. The median sales price fell 0.6% to $234,500 last month. Lower prices, low interest rates and warmer weather likely gave a small boost to sales. The supply of new homes on the market, at current sales pace, fell to 4.7 months from 5.0 in April. Even with the latest increase, however, sales of new homes are far below the normal level and reflect an industry still trying to dig out of its worst slump in modern times.
WASHINGTON — Construction on new US homes rose 2.6 percent in April to an annual rate of 717,000 units, while building permits fell seven percent to 715,000 — one month after reaching a near four-year high, the government reported Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected housing starts in April to rise to a total 690,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Housing starts in March were revised up sharply to 699,000 from 654,000, while permits were revised up to 769,000 — the highest level since September 2008 — from an original reading of 747,000.
In April, permits for single-family homes, which account for three-quarters of the housing market, edged up 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 475,000. Permits for new construction are viewed as a gauge of future demand.
Housing affordability conditions have reached the highest level since record keeping began in 1970, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
NAR’s Housing Affordability Index rose to a record high 206.1 in January, based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power.
An index of 100 is defined as the point where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single-family home, assuming a 20 percent downpayment and 25 percent of gross income devoted to mortgage principal and interest payments. For first-time buyers making small downpayments, the affordability levels are relatively lower.
NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said this latest data underscores buyer opportunities in today’s market. “This is the first time the housing affordability index has broken the two hundred mark, meaning the typical family has roughly double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home,” he said. “For buyers who can qualify for a mortgage, now is a very good time to become a homeowner.”
NAR projects the affordability index for all of 2012 will be at an annual high, with little movement in mortgage interest rates or home prices during the year. “Housing inventory levels have declined to a point where conditions are becoming much more balanced in much of the country,” Veissi said. “If access to credit improves, we could see a much more meaningful increase in home sales and broader stabilization in home prices with modest gains in areas with stronger job growth.”
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
By Steve Goldstein
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Home builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes climbed in February for the fifth straight month to reach the highest level in more than four years, according to a survey released Wednesday. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index rose to 29 in February from 25 in January, meaning the gauge has more than doubled since September. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a reading of 26. Though that’s still far below the level considered “good” – the seasonally adjusted gauge needs a reading of 50 to do that, which hasn’t been the case since April 2006 – it does indicate improving sentiment for builders. The home-builder gauge tracks closely with single-family housing starts, with the January data from that series due for release from the Commerce Department on Thursday.
- Amy Hoak’s Home Economics: Big suppliers absent from Builders’ Show (marketwatch.com)