Adobe Stock / Iriana Shiyan

The sales of new single‐family houses in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 661,000, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The January estimate is 1.5% above the revised December rate of 651,000 and is 1.8% above the January 2023 estimate of 649,000.

“Builders have been able to breathe a sigh of relief to start the year. While sales have not been outstanding, traffic has increased as consumers start to accept that higher mortgage rates are here to stay. January sales were stronger to start 2024 compared to 2023,” says Ali Wolf, Zonda chief economist.

The median sales price of new houses sold in January was $420,700, while the average sales price was $534,300.

“Sales of newly built houses rose modestly in January as builders applied their energies to both ends of the market—the inexpensive and the expensive. Some 15% of new homes sold for less than $300,000, compared to 11% in January 2023. Meanwhile, 14% of new homes were sold for $750,000 or more, up from 12% a year earlier. The inventory of unsold new homes went up a bit, so builders might increase their incentives to clear those homes off the virtual shelves,” says NerdWallet home expert Holden Lewis.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 456,000, which represents a supply of 8.3 months at the current sales rate.

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