The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday reported that sales of new single‐family houses in October 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000, 0.7% below the revised September rate of 738,000 but is 31.6% above the October 2018 estimate of 557,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2019 was $316,700, up from $310,200 in September but down from $328,200 a year earlier. The average sales price was $383,300, up from $366,900 in September but down from $394,900 in October, 2018.
The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 322,000, a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, parsed the data. “The median home price has been accelerating of late due to an acute shortage of inventory at lower price points," said Yun. The latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows price acceleration as well, with the retirement destinations of Phoenix and Tampa leading the pack. Separate though more expansive home price data by the Federal Housing Finance Agency also shows solid home price gains – in fact, in all 50 states. The Mountain States of Idaho, Utah and Arizona were going strong, while the gains in Illinois and Connecticut were the weakest."
Yun continued, "Sales of newly constructed homes essentially matched the strong sales figures from the prior month, but show a strong 32% gain from a year ago. This huge jump from one year ago partly reflects builders now building less expensive homes (the median new home price was lower this year compared to last year). Several of today’s fresh data on home price and new home sales, combined with earlier data on existing-home sales and the median home price, essentially say the same thing: housing demand is solid. But buyers are facing not enough choices. Therefore, prices are getting bid up, especially in the starter home market and in the Mountain States.”