Home sales hit an 11-month high in February, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The two entities jointly announced the following new residential sales statistics for February: A total of 667,000 new homes were sold with a median sales price of $315,300. This is 4.9 percent above the revised January rate of 636,000 and 0.6 percent above the February 2018 estimate of 663,000.
The average sales price was $379,600. The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 340,000. This represents a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate. Industry professionals consider a six-month supply to be indicative of a balanced market.
Bloomberg also reports on this, saying, “Sales of new U.S. homes rebounded to the best pace in almost a year and exceeded estimates in February, led by the Midwest, as lower mortgage costs helped buyers afford properties.”
Their key insights indicate a surprisingly strong gain to the best level since March 2018 and is further evidence that transaction levels are stabilizing.
“Mortgage rates that started to ease late last year and tax cuts are helping lure buyers,” Bloomberg reports. “Meanwhile, other housing indicators, including starts and prices, have been cooling.” The article goes on to say that new-home purchases are seen as a timelier barometer of housing than those of previously owned properties, as they are calculated when contracts are signed rather than when they close.
This marks the third release this month of new home sales data as the government catches up to its regular schedule following delays due to the partial government shutdown. March figures will be released on April 23. For more information and to view the full schedule, visit in the Economic Briefing Room at www.census.gov/economic-indicators.