Western States Help Lead New-Home Sales in JunePosted 08/06/2013
New-home sales activity in the West outpaced the national average by a substantial margin in June, despite the challenge of ongoing supply shortages, according to data released recently by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. The National Association of Home Builders reported new-home sales in the Western region jumped 13.8 percent compared to the national average of 8.3 percent. The national sales figure amounts to a seasonally adjusted, annual rate of 497,000 units in June and is the fastest growth spurt in the last five years, the NAHB said.
“New-home buyers are returning to the market in larger numbers as firming prices, shrinking inventories of homes for sale and improving local economies convince them that now is the time to make their move,” said Rick Judson, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Meanwhile, the very low supply of new homes in the market is indicative of the difficulty that builders are having in keeping up with demand due to availability issues with regard to materials, credit, labor and lots for development.”
New-home inventory declined to 161,000 units in June, its lowest level since March 2004. At the current sales pace, the NAHB estimates a 3.9-month supply of newly built homes remains.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said June’s robust sales figures are further proof that a slight uptick in mortgage rates hasn’t damped buyers’ enthusiasm. Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, Crowe anticipates steady, incremental sales gains.
Elsewhere in the nation, the Northeast and South posted sales increases of 18.5 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively, in June, while the Midwest experienced an 11.8 percent decline following an above-trend activity boost in May.
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