Sales of newly built single-family homes increased nearly 6 percent in August, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000 units, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That is the best monthly figure in new-home sales since February 2008. However, the number does still remain far off from the 706,000 unit-pace that is considered the 30-year historic average in new-home sales.
“We continue to hear from our members that more serious home buyers are returning to the market,” says Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “Builders are gradually adding inventory to meet future demand as they handle shortages of lots and labor.”
The Northeast posted the highest gains of any other region in the U.S., with new-home sales surging 24.1 percent in August. The South also posted a 7.4 percent month-over-month increase and the West saw a 5.4 percent increase in new-home sales. The Midwest was the only region in the U.S. to see new-home sales drop in August, falling 9.1 percent.
Overall, the inventory of new homes for-sale reached 216,000 units in August, a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace.
“Today’s report indicates the release of pent-up housing demand as the overall economy strengthens, consumer confidence grows and mortgage interest rates remain low,” says David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist. “The housing market should continue to move forward at a modest but more persistent pace throughout the rest of 2015.”