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Inventories of new homes shrinking

Low appraisals add to lending woes for builders, developers

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Sales of newly-constructed single-family homes rebounded 11 percent from May to June, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.That's the fastest pace of new-home sales since November 2008 but represents a 21.3 percent decline from a year ago. At that rate, it would take 8.8 months for the 281,000 new homes on the market at the end of June to be sold, when six months of inventory is considered a more healthy balance between supply and demand.Inventories of unsold new homes expressed as months of supply declined for the third consecutive month. During the current downturn, the months' supply of new housing peaked at 12.4 months in January. In terms of raw numbers, the inventory of unsold new homes peaked in July 2006 at 572,000.The rate of new-home sales remains depressed despite a 25.5 percent drop from a year ago in the median price of new homes sold in June, to $206,200.The National Association of Home Builders testified before a Congressiona...