New home sales drop in October
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 by Floor Covering Weekly
“The November reading is consistent with reports from our builders, who say that the job market and demographic tailwinds bode well for housing demand but rising interest rates and home prices are forcing customers to take a pause,” said Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Policymakers should see this drop in sales as an indicator that housing affordability will continue to slow down the market.”
“Home sales declined this month as housing affordability continues to be a hurdle for consumers,” said NAHB senior economist Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington. “While a solid economy and positive demographics support future demand for housing, it is critical to address this mounting affordability crisis.”
A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the October reading of 544,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.
The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 336,000 in October. The median sales price fell 3.6 percent to $309,700, as the market is shifting to townhomes and other lower-cost houses.
Looking at the regional numbers on a year-to-date basis, new home sales rose 6.3 percent in the Midwest, 4.1 percent in the West, and 3.8 percent in the South. Home sales fell 17.1 percent in the Northeast year-to-date.