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Housing News

New home sales stagnant nationally, but doubled in the Northeast

New home under construction in Asheville, photo by Brock Builders.

New home sales down and up

New home sales remain relatively unchanged from June to July with only a 0.7 percent dip in sales according to the U.S. Commerce Department. From July 2010 to July 2011, new home sales have risen 6.8 percent, so it isn’t all bad news that July didn’t yield any surprise jump in sales.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported just one week ago that housing starts dipped in July and days ago, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a bigger decline in existing home sales than had been expected, due in large part to cancelled contracts that had difficulty getting to the closing table.

NAHB notes consumer fears

Regarding new home sales remaining unchanged, NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen said, “The fact that new-home sales fell by less than one percent in July is an indication of how little conditions have changed in the housing market. While new-home inventories are exceptionally thin, home builders are still competing with large numbers of foreclosed and distressed homes on the market and a climate of uncertainty in which consumers are reluctant to go forward with a major purchase for fear of what economic news tomorrow might bring.”

Northeast region doubled sales volume in July

The median sales price for a new home dropped 6.3 percent last month to $222,000 but was up 4.7 percent from July 2010. Regionally, new home sales dipped 7.4 percent in the South and 5.9 percent in the West. While sales rose 2.4 percent in the Midwest, they actually doubled (increased 100 percent) in the Northeast from their record setting lows of June.

Inventory levels at record low

The pace of sales of new homes is in line with what NABH had forecast, said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “While we expect to see some marginal gains in sales activity through the rest of 2011, we do not foresee any major advances until economic growth helps boost home buyers’ confidence.”

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The sales pace left the inventory levels at their lowest level in 48 years at only 165,000 units, a 6.6 month supply at the current sales pace. Crowe said, “The current nationwide inventory of completed new homes ready for occupancy – at 61,000 units – is in keeping with what a single major metropolitan area such as Atlanta might sell in a typical year.”

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.



  1. Ruthmarie Hicks

    August 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    It makes some sense. Builders with inventories that they hung onto for what seemed like forever are realizing the boom isn't returning and they go caught without a chair when the music stopped. they are finally selling at prices that make sense and that inventory is finally moving. Much of the northeast is already developed so there was less room for a ton of new construction – so for those who want new construction – there isn't that much to pick from and anything in foreclosure usually needs a lot of TLC around here.

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