New-Home Prices Soar, Creating Urgency

May 24, 2013

Last month the median price for new homes hit a record high and home sales soared, boosting the new-home sector’s recovery, according to figures released from the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday. The median price of a new home sold in April was $271,600, which was 8.3 percent higher than the previous month and 13.1 percent higher than one year ago, the Census Bureau reported.

“While the cost of constructing homes is rising due to tightened supplies of materials, lots, and labor, to some extent, this may be creating greater urgency among potential buyers,” says Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders

New-home sales in April also soared to their second highest level since the summer of 2008, rising 2.3 percent. Sales are 29 percent higher than year-ago levels. Still, the pace of new-home sales in April of 454,000 is still a far cry from the 700,000 level that most economists consider healthy for the sector.  

“Today's report is further evidence of the gradual, consistent improvement we have been seeing in housing market conditions over the past year," says NAHB Senior Economist Robert Denk. "We're now about half-way back to what could be considered a full recovery, and we do expect to see continual, solid gains in both starts and sales of new homes going forward."

Regionally, new-home sales in April rose by the most in the West—10.8 percent—and 3 percent in the South. Meanwhile, new-home sales dropped in April by 16.7 percent in the Northeast and 4.8 percent in the Midwest. 

Source:New Home Sales Up 2.3% in April as Median Price Hits Record High,” The Associated Press (May 23, 2013)

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