New-home sales bounced back in December after showing signs of slowing in November, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new single-family home sales in December clocked in at 842,000, 1.6 percent above the revised November rate of 829,000. That rate also showed a substantial 15.2 percent increase from December 2019 when sales of new single-family homes stood at 731,000.
Holden Lewis, a home and mortgage specialist at NerdWallet, noted that as spring approaches, that modest month-over-month uptick seen in December should continue to ramp up.
“Even though new home sales were weaker than expected, they were still higher than 12 months earlier,” Lewis said. “This is a seasonal dip, and new home sales are likely to bounce back when we see the January report. Longer-term, they will rise because of demographic factors. Each year, millions of people are forming households. Homebuilders aren’t constructing homes fast enough to accommodate demand.”
At a regional level, the Midwest enjoyed the greatest gains with a 30.6 percent increase in new-home sales. New-home sales in the Northeast and South, however, decreased from November to December by 6.1 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.
The median sales price for new homes sold in December clocked in at $355,900, an 8 percent year-over-year increase.
Meanwhile, the inventory of new homes for sale by the end of December was at a seasonally adjusted estimate of 302,000, a supply of 4.3 months, and a modest improvement from November’s supply of 4.1 months.