Sales of new single-family houses in July 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000, according to estimates released jointly this week by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 2.4 percent below the revised June rate of 422,000, but is 12.3 percent above the July 2013 estimate of 367,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in July 2014 was $269,800; the average sales price was $339,100. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 205,000. This represents a supply of 6.0 months at the current sales rate.
"We are somewhat surprised by this dip, considering builder confidence and new-home starts are on the rise," said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. "However, builders are increasing their level of inventory in anticipation that sales will gradually improve during the rest of the year."
"Though new-home sales is a volatile metric that can fluctuate significantly from month to month, the economic fundamentals are in place for an ongoing housing recovery," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Consumer confidence continues to improve, mortgage rates are at yearly lows, and the labor market is healing. These factors should help spur pent-up demand."
Regionally, new-home sales fell 30.8 percent in the Northeast, 8.8 percent in the Midwest, and 15.2 percent in the West. Sales were up 8.1 percent in the South, the country's largest region.