2019: The Best Year for New Home Sales Since the Great Recession

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 9:14am

January 27th The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the new residential sales statistics for December 2019. 2019 ended with a gain of 10 percent for the sales of newly built single-family homes. New home sales increased to a total of 681,000, a 10.3 percent above the 2018’s 617,000 new homes sold. This marks 2019 as the best year for new home sales since the Great Recession according to The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

Sales of new single‐family houses in December 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000. This is 0.4 percent below the revised November rate of 697,000, but is 23 percent above the December 2018 estimate of 564,000.

NAHB reported that the acceleration of new home sales during the second half of 2019 returns the new home sales pace to the general trend line it has been on since the end of the Great Recession. This general rising trend for new home sales, after the housing affordability crunch of 2018, suggests additional construction gains in 2020. Sales are being supported by ongoing low interest rates and historically low unemployment.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 327,000. The current months’ supply of new single-family homes stands at a healthy level of 5.7 after peaking at an elevated 7.4 in December 2018. After rising over much of the post-Great Recession cycle, new home inventory measurably declined from January of 2019 until stabilizing in September and rising slightly in recent months. The count of completed, ready-to-occupy new homes is just 78,000 homes nationwide.

The median sales price of new houses sold in December 2019 increased to $331,400, and the average sales price was $384,500.

According to NAHB, regionally, over the course of 2019, new home sales were up 14% in the South, 15% in the West (led by the Mountain states), and down 7% in the Midwest and 9% in the Northeast.

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