New Home Sales Dip in June

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Sales of newly built, single-family homes dropped 5.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631,000 units after a downwardly revised May report, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Uncertainty caused by tariffs and the talk of trade wars are making home buyers more cautious, and builders are taking note of this situation,” said Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “Not only are consumers and builders concerned about the current lumber tariffs, but also the next round of proposed tariffs on a number of goods and services.”

Despite the month-over-month decline, yearly sales of new homes remains on an upward path as demand continues to grow throughout the US.

“Though this is the lowest monthly annualized sales pace since October 2017, new home sales for the first half of 2018 are up 6.9 percent on a year-to-date basis compared to last year,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “This indicates solid demand for new home construction.”

What is a new home sale?

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a new home sale occurs when a newly-built home’s sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed. In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the June reading of 631,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

According to the NAHB’s data, the inventory of new homes for sale was 301,000 in June, which is a 5.7-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price was $302,100.

Regional Trends

Regionally, new home sales increased an impressive 36.8 percent in the Northeast. Meanwhile, new home sales declined 13.4 percent in the Midwest, 7.7 percent in the South and 5.2 percent in the West.

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