The U.S. Census Bureau reported that new home sales rose 1.3% month-over-month in November and is 16.9% above November 2018 numbers. An estimated 719,000 homes were sold during the month.
The median sales price for new homes sold in November 2019 was $330,800. New homes had an average sales price of $388,200. For-sale inventory at the end of November was 323,000, which is a 5.4-months’ supply.
New-home sales in the Northeast saw the largest increase from October, rising 52.4%. The West reported a 7.5% increase, with the Midwest was unchanged from the prior month. The South was the only region to see negative growth from October as new-home sales fell 4.1%.
The West was the nation’s only region to post a year-over-year decline in new-home sales at -1.4%.
The Census Bureau reported that 25% of new homes were priced between $300,000 and $399,000, and a combined 61% of homes were above $300,000. A combined 38% of new homes were priced under $300,000.
This report comes just a few days after the National Association of Realtors found existing home sales fell 1.7% from October in November to a rate of 5.35 million. Sales are still up by 2.7% when compared to November 2018.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, said the decline in sales for the month is not worrisome.
“Sales will be choppy when inventory levels are low, but the economy is otherwise performing very well with more than 2 million job gains in the past year,” Yun said.
Inventory at the end of November was 1.64 million units—down 7.3% from October and 5.7% from November 2018. Unsold inventory is currently at a 3.7-month supply, which is down from 3.9 months in October and 4 months last November. The volume of unsold inventory has declined for five consecutive months.
"This was a surprising drop in home resales that few people foresaw. After all, mortgage rates were about one percentage point lower in November than they were the previous November, which made homes more affordable than they otherwise would be,” said Holden Lewis, Home and Mortgage Expert for NerdWallet. “This unheralded decline in home sales will freshen a debate about the economy's prospects in 2020, and whether consumer confidence is about to head downward.”
The Census Bureau will release its next report on new home sales on January 27, 2020.