The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that the sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 6.7% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 units.
This report comes after the March report was revised in accordance to new data provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. March’s sales pace of 723,000 units was the highest monthly rate since the recession. April’s figure was the third-highest pace.
"After a challenging final quarter of 2018, data for the start of the year shows stabilization and modest growth for home sales,” said Greg Ugalde, Chairman of the NAHB and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Connecticut. “Our builder surveys show that traffic is steadily increasing. The challenge facing builders is how to deal with ongoing supply-side constraints such as a lack of buildable lots and labor that are putting upward pressure on housing costs.”
The report defines a new home sale when a contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction. The report added that in addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the April’s 673,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next year.
“The strong March sales pace was due to a combination of lower interest rates and the use of builder price incentives,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “At the same time, the April sales report was a solid number coming off a very strong March reading.”
The NAHB added that the inventory for new home sales was 332,000 in April, which is a 5.9 months’ supply, and the average sales price was $342,000. This is an increase from the $314,000 average sales price posted earlier in the year.
Home sales in the south saw the nation’s biggest year-to-date increase at 10.3%. Sales fell 17.6% in the northeast year-over-year.