Sales of new single-family homes rose 6.2 percent from September to October, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000, the Census Bureau said today.
At that pace of sales — a 5.1 percent increase from a year ago — the 239,000 new homes on the market represented 6.7 months of supply, down from 7.4 months in September and 11.1 months a year ago. Analysts generally consider a six-month supply of homes an even balance between supply and demand.
The months’ supply of new homes peaked at 12.4 months in January, when there were 340,000 homes on the market and sales had slowed to an annual rate of 329,000.
The median sale price of a new home also increased for the second month in a row, to $212,200, although that number is not seasonally adjusted. Looking back a year, the median price of a new home was essentially unchanged from $213,200, and down 14.4 percent from $247,900 in 2007.
The National Association of Realtors reported this week that sales of existing U.S. homes rose 10.1 percent from September to October and 23.5 percent from a year ago (see story).
Existing homes sold at an annual rate of 6.1 million units — the fastest pace since February 2007, NAR said — with months of inventory shrinking to seven months.
NAR credited low mortgage rates and a rush to beat a deadline for a first-time homebuyer tax credit that was scheduled to expire at the end of this month. Congress has expanded the credit and extended it to apply to homes under contract by April 30, and mortgage rates are at historic lows this week (see story).
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