Sales of new single‐family houses in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 28.8% above the revised July rate of 532,000 but 0.1% below the August 2021 estimate of 686,000.
"Today’s new-home sales report shows the importance of interest rates. The average mortgage interest rate in August was the lowest since April of this year, and buyers that were formerly priced out of the market saw an opportunity to reenter," says Ali Wolf, chief economist at Zonda. "Over the past handful of weeks, however, mortgage rates have risen quickly and sharply. We expect sales activity to soften again for next month’s report."
The median sales price of new homes sold in August was $436,800, while the average sales price was $521,800.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale was 461,000 at the end of August, representing an 8.1-month supply at the current sales rate.
"While we had predicted a modest rebound in new-home sales over the month, this report came in above our expectations and will cause an upgrade to our near-term forecast," says Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. "However, we continue to expect a general decline in new sales activity as mortgage rates continue to rise."