New single-family home sales increased 3.5% to 629,000 in August, according to preliminary data released Sept. 26 by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
That increase is up from a slip of nearly 2% in July, and up almost 13% from August 2017.
[Related: New home sales slip in July]
The Northeast led in new home sales, increasing nearly 48% since July, but the West showed robust growth with a 9.1% increase. Sales for the West region are up over 19% since August 2017, compared to 12.7% year-over-year increase nationally.
The inventory of new homes for sale at the end of August was 318,000, according to the release. At the current sales rate, that represents a supply of just over six months.
A third of the homes sold in August went for over $400,000, according to Census data, while 32% sold for between $200,000 and $299,000. The median sales price was $320,200, and the average sales price was $388,400.
Housing starts increased over 9%, Census data show, with privately owned housing starts reaching 1.28 million in August. Over two-thirds of starts were for single-family homes, with 30% of starts were for multifamily housing with at least five units.
The number of permits issued fell, however, dropping 5.7% from the July rate to 1.3 million. Permits are down 5.5% from the August 2017 rate, Census data show.