New-Home Sales Dip to 7-Month Low

July 27, 2015

Sales of newly built single-family homes fell 6.8 percent in June to the lowest level since last November, the Commerce Department reports. But builders remain upbeat that the housing recovery is still intact. 

New-home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000 units in June. The drop follows a report last week that showed builders were increasing production of new homes, with housing starts climbing nearly 10 percent in June month-over-month. Most of that increase was due to a surge in multifamily construction.

New-home sales continue to be volatile month-to-month.

"We knew that there would be ups and downs on the road back to a normal housing market," says Robert Denk, senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders. "As the economy and job growth strengthens, we expect to see gradual, continued momentum in the coming months."

This is the second consecutive month for declines in new home sales. However, new home sales remain up 18.1 percent compared to June of last year.

The inventory of new homes for-sale was 215,000 units in June, representing a 5.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

Regionally, home sales increased by the largest amount month-to-month in the Northeast, where sales were up 28 percent. However, sales fell by 17 percent in the West; dropped by 11.1 percent in the Midwest; and also fell 4.1 percent in the South.

Source: National Association of Home Builders and "U.S. New Home Sales at Seven-Month Low," Reuters (July 24, 2015)