Sales of new single‐family houses in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 616,000, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 2.3% above the revised November rate of 602,000 but 26.6% below the December 2021 estimate of 839,000.
An estimated 644,000 new homes were sold in 2022. This is 16.4% below the 2021 figure of 771,000.
“In December, the new-home sales market increased 2.3% from the previous month, again showing renewed signs of increased activity and demand as the calendar year came to a close,” says Nikolas Scoolis, manager, housing economics, for Zonda. “The market, which started the year off with strength, was quickly dampened by rapidly rising rates and prices. As a result of this affordability crunch, preliminary estimates show that just 644,000 homes were sold in 2022, the lowest level since 2018.”
The median sales price of new homes sold in December was $442,100, while the average sales price was $528,400.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale was 461,000 at the end of December, representing a nine-month supply at the current sales rate.
“Sales of newly built homes picked up slightly in December because of two circumstances," says Holden Lewis, home and mortgage expert at NerdWallet. "First, mortgage rates dropped in December, after the 30-year mortgage had peaked above 7% in October and November. Second, home builders reduced prices to stimulate sales. In December, the typical new home cost almost $50,000 less than in October. The combination of lower rates and lower prices boosted sales in December and might be doing the same in January.”