Industry Update – New Home Sales Surge in March

Industry Update – New Home Sales Surge in March

Posted 05/02/2017

As predicted by experts last year, the housing industry continues to soar in 2017, with sales of newly built, single-family homes rising for a third consecutive month in March to an eight-month high, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nationally, new home sales rose 5.8 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted rate of 621,000 units, beating the expected figure of 590,000 and representing the second highest recording since the Great Recession, said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chief Economist Robert Dietz. Regionally, however, home sales in the West surged even further, reaching nearly 17 percent.

“With tight existing home inventory, rising household formations and continued job creation, we can expect further growth in new home sales moving forward,” said Dietz.

The increase aligns with builder confidence, which remains solid, according to Granger MacDonald, NAHB chairman. There are some concerns, though.

MacDonald said in a recent statement builders are concerned that ongoing increases in building material costs will hurt housing affordability, especially given last month’s proposal by the Department of Commerce to impose a hefty tariff on Canadian lumber.

Inventory of new homes for sale sat at about 268,000 in March. At the current sales pace, experts project the supply to last about 5.2 months. A six-month supply is considered to be a healthy balance between supply and demand.