US new home sales surge to 10-year high in October

ConDig (28-Nov-17).  Sales of new single-family homes in the US shot up 6.2% in October to hit a new 10-year high, according to latest figures from the US Census Bureau.

New home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units last month compared with September’s slightly downwardly revised sales pace of 645,000 units.

This was the third straight month of new home sales gains and the highest level since October 2007.

For the year-to-date, new home sales are 8.9% above their level for the same period last year.

“There is solid growth in the number of sales contracts signed before construction has begun, a strong indicator that new single-family home production should continue to grow as we look ahead to 2018,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders.

The inventory of new homes for sale was 282,000 in October, which is a 4.9-month supply at the current sales pace.

New home sales increased in all four regions, with sales rising 30.2% in the Northeast, 17.9% in the Midwest, 6.4% in the West and 1.3% in the South.

The figures suggest that the housing market in the US is slowly regaining traction after a somewhat sluggish year so far amid lot shortages, high building material costs and a dearth of skilled labor.

“The October report shows strong sales growth at entry-level price points,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the NAHB.

“In markets where builders are able to provide homes for families with different household budgets, they can fulfill a growing demand for housing.” 

Last month, US homebuilder PulteGroup Inc said that new home sales in the are set to grow 5-10% over last year’s levels amid strong demand, historically low interest rates and growth in first-time buyers entering the market.