Sales of new single-family houses in November 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000, according to estimates released jointly last week by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 2.1 percent below the revised October rate of 474,000, but is 16.6 percent above the November 2012 estimate of 398,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2013 was $270,900; the average sales price was $340,300. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 167,000. This represents a supply of 4.3 months at the current sales rate.
"This figure is consistent with NAHB's member surveys, which show increasing confidence in the market," said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "Meanwhile, the very low supply of new homes on the market and tight credit conditions for home buyers show that builders are still cautious about getting ahead of themselves."
"The previous three months for new-home sales have all been revised up, and the final quarter of 2013 is shaping up to be the best quarter since the second quarter of 2008," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Historically low interest rates, affordable home prices and a healing economy are bringing buyers back into the marketplace."
Regionally, new-home sales were mixed in November. Both the West and the Northeast showed improvement, with respective increases of 31.1 percent and 15.2 percent. New-home sales in the Midwest dropped by 26.6 percent and the South posted a 9.1 percent decline.