A 32.1 percent drop in new home sales in the West led total new home sales across the nation to drop 9.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 494,000, less than the 501,000 in Jan. 2015, reports oregonlive.
“With inventory still very tight, prices will continue to firm, though the short-term numbers are so volatile that the trend is hard to spot,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. The 14.5 percent rise in new home sales last year sparked hopes that the pace would continue, but builders have zeroed in on the higher end homes.
An unusual gap has occurred between the median price and the average price for last month: the median new-home sales price dropped 4.5 percent from a year ago to $278,800, while the average price of a home advanced 2.7 percent to $365,700.
Meanwhile the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports sales of existing homes rose 0.4 percent last month to a SAAR of 5.47 million, following a year that saw sales reach their highest level in nine years. Housing starts totaled 1.1 million in 2015, the most since 2007.
As MHProNews knows, it remains to be seen whether builders can achieve a balance involving buildable lots, skilled labor, financing and homes that people can afford. ##
Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.