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New home sales fall back in June

By / July 25, 2018

WASHINGTON — Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 5.3% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631,000 units after a downwardly revised May report, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Uncertainty caused by tariffs and the talk of trade wars are making home buyers more cautious, and builders are taking note of this situation,” said Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “Not only are consumers and builders concerned about the current lumber tariffs, but also the next round of proposed tariffs on a number of goods and services.”

“Though this is the lowest monthly annualized sales pace since October 2017, new home sales for the first half of 2018 are up 6.9% on a year-to-date basis compared to last year,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “This indicates solid demand for new home construction.”

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 June reading of 631,000 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 was 301,000 in June, which is a 5.7-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price was $302,100.

Regionally, new home sales rose 36.8% in the Northeast. Sales fell 13.4% in the Midwest, 7.7% in the South and 5.2% in the West.

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