New Home Sales up 9.6 Percent in January

Written by Sandy Williams

Sales of new single family homes rose 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000 in January from a revised December rate of 427,000, according to data released by the US Census Bureau and US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The year-over-year increase of home sales was 2.2 percent above the January 2013 estimate of 458,000.

The January median sales price was $260,100 and the average sales price was $322,800. Inventory is still limited with the seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January at 184,000—a 4.7 month supply at the current sales rate.

The National Association of Home Builders says cold weather had little effect on sales in January. “However, the very low supply of new homes on the market and the continued concern of available buildable lots still have builders cautious about getting ahead of themselves,” said Kevin Kelly, Chairman of NAHB.

Regionally, the South, West and Northeast made strong sales gains, up 10.4 percent, 11.0 percent and 73.7 percent, respectively. Midwest sales of new homes fell by 17.2 percent for the month.

“We saw a weaker sales number in December 2013 than was previously trending, and I think much of January’s increase is due to sales catching up with pent up demand,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Still, there is little doubt that historically low interest rates, affordable home prices and a healing economy are bringing buyers back into the marketplace.”

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