Adobe Stock

Sales of new single‐family houses in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 675,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 8.7% below the revised July rate of 739,000, but is 5.8% above the August 2022 estimate of 638,000.

"After months of strong performance, the unrelenting pressure of the rising rate environment squeezed the new home market," says Nik Scoolis, manager, housing economics for Zonda. "Despite the drop from last month, however, sales remained up solidly from the same time last year. Builders continue to directly benefit from the nearly non-existent resale supply. The key, though, is how builders navigate the extremely tight affordability and convert demand into sales."

The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2023 was $430,300 while the average sales price was $514,000. The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August was 436,000, which represents a supply of 7.8 months at the current sales rate.

“August saw a drop in sales of new homes, but they'll bounce back soon enough,” says Holden Lewis, home expert at NerdWallet. “The inventory of unsold new homes is at its highest since December, and builders will be motivated to offer incentives to get them sold. Look for a resurgence of mortgage-rate buydowns, in which the sellers give buyers a break on the monthly payments for the first one to three years.”