Steel Markets

NAHB: New Home Sales Slip in June on Trade War Concerns

Written by Sandy Williams

Sales of new single-family houses slipped 5.3 percent from May to June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631,000, according to the latest report by the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. The decline was accompanied by a downwardly revised estimate of 666,000 for May. The June SAAR was at the lowest annual pace in eight months.

Supply of new homes now stands at 301,000 houses, a supply of 5.7 months at the current sales pace. The median price of a house sold in June was $302,100 and the average sales price was $363,300.

“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 National Association of Home Builders Chairman Randy Noel. “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.”

“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.”

Regionally, new home sales rose 36.8 percent in the Northeast. Sales fell 13.4 percent in the Midwest, 7.7 percent in the South and 5.2 percent in the West.

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