New home sales, starts up in August

New home sales recovered from July slump, data show
The number of units authorized fell in August, but sales and starts increased.

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.

[Related: How to build productive partnerships with real estate professionals]

Danielle Andrus

Danielle Andrus was previously the managing editor for Colorado Builder, and is currently Editor for the Journal of Financial Planning.

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