New home sales reached an 11-month high, according to data from the The U.S.Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In February 2019, new single family home sales were a ta seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000, around 4.9 percent higher month over month and 0.6 percent higher year over year. Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist for LendingTree, noted the impact lower interest rates had.
“Sales were the highest in 11 months as the benefits of lower interest rates start to become evident,” Kapfidze noted. “January sales were also revised higher, adding to the evidence that the housing slowdown from the second half of 2018 is ending.”
Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance, noted the strong job market and its impact on housing in the past few months and even years.
“Falling interest rates since late December 2018 have helped to stabilize housing demand, especially in the single-family housing market,” said Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “The tight labor market has created the fastest wage growth in almost 10 years, making it more attractive for workers to change jobs and boost housing demand associated with increased relocation rates.”
According to Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale, this month’s data indicates a stronger market.
“February pending home sales data showed weakness after a pick-up in January contract signings, but February new home sales data shows a stronger read of 667,000 new home sales, up 4.9 percent from January and also slightly above last year’s sales pace (0.6 percent),” Hale stated. “This trend supports the fact that lower mortgage rates have started to entice buyers this spring and foreshadows a potential strengthening of existing home sales in the months to come. Looking forward, orders should also help bolster builder confidence and boost new construction. A slight moderation in the median price due to an increase in the share of sales in the $200,000-$300,000 category is also a good sign.”
Find the complete Census Bureau/HUD data here.