The sale of new single-family homes declined by 5.3 percent from May to June, according to the latest data released Wednesday from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631,000 new homes sold was the lowest since October 2017.

“The Census Bureau notes in the release that ‘it takes 6 months to establish a trend for new houses sold’ as they are among the most volatile and revision prone economic data series,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, the chief economist at Lending Tree.

“At LendingTree we prefer the 3-month average to balance timeliness with information value,” he added. “The 3-month average of 646,000 is at the weakest level since February and coupled with weakness in existing home sales may be signaling a peak in home sales.”

Despite the month-over-month drop and sales falling in every region but the Northeast, new home sales are still 2.4 percent ahead of where they were in June of 2017.

A piece of good news for an inventory-starved market, is that the seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 301,000 – which represents a supply of 5.7 months at the current sales rate.

According to Kapfidze, it’s the highest since May 2009, but margin pressures and tariffs from the Trump administration could further strain inventory, especially at lower price points.

“We had previously expected the tax cuts to improve builder margins by 10-15 percent, which we anticipated may have led builders to consider increasing activity at the lower-end of the market where inventory challenges are particularly acute,” said Kapfidze. “The tariffs may negate this benefit.”

The price of the median new single-family home dropped to $302,100, the lowest point since February 2017. Climbing interest rates may be leading to a drop in prices, Kapfidze believes.

Email Patrick Kearns

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription