‘Twas a good month for new-home sales

Special to The Log

Sales of newly constructed homes posted a strong increase in November, as the sector gained momentum at the end of the year. New single-family home sales increased 5.2 percent month-over-month in November and reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units, the Commerce Department reported.

"New-home sales showed growing strength in 2016, and builders expect more of the same next year," said Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. "A key to continued growth in 2017 will be to ensure that prospective, qualified first-time home buyers have access to affordable home loans."

The inventory of new homes for sale was 250,000 in November, a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new homes sold was $305,400, the Commerce Department reported.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz predicts an increase in single-family home construction next year, fueled by a growing economy and solid job growth.

"Builder confidence has risen on anticipation of reductions in regulatory costs, which is good news for home buyers and renters. However, the pace of construction will continue to be restricted by shortages of lots and labor in some markets," Dietz said.

Regionally, new-home sales jumped 43.8 percent month-over-month in the Midwest and also posted a 7.7 percent increase in the West in November. New-home sales in the Northeast were unchanged and sales posted a 3.1 percent drop in the South, the Commerce Department reported.

Source: National Association of Home Builders