October 25, 2012 (Chris Moore)
The nation’s new home builders sold virtually the same amount of homes in September as they did in August but a slightly higher percentage of sub-$300,000 homes caused prices to dip slightly according to the latest housing data released by the Census Bureau.
Sales of new single-family homes increased 5.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 389,000, up from a sales rate of 368,000 in August. On an unadjusted basis, new home sales were unchanged from the previous month.
The rate of sales in September was 27.1 percent higher than the estimated sales rate of 306,000 units in September of 2011. Sales were also 29.2 percent higher than in September of last year on an unadjusted basis. Through the end of September, new home sales are 21.8 percent higher than at the same time last year.
The median sales price of the new homes sold in September was $242,400, which was down from a revised $250,400 in August. The average sales price for a new home in September was $292,400, down from a revised $293,900 in August.
Sixty-eight percent of the new single-family homes sold in September were under $300,000, up from 65 percent in August.
In September of last year, the median sales price of a new home was 10.5 percent lower at $217,000, while the average sales price was 12.7 percent lower at $255,400.
Three of the four national regions posted increases in seasonally adjusted monthly sales led by a 16.8 percent gain in the South, closely followed by a gain of 16.7 percent in the Northeast with the West reporting a gain of 3.9 percent.
The Midwest reported the only decline in sales, falling 37.3 percent from the previous month.
Compared to a year ago, three of the four regions also showed improvement with the Northeast posting the largest increase of 75.0 percent followed by the West at 62.1 percent and the South at 24.3 percent. The Midwest also reported the only annual decline with new home sales falling 31.9 percent from the previous year.
Inventory of new single-family homes increased to a seasonally adjusted 145,000 homes available for sale, which translates into a 4.5 months supply of inventory, down from a revised 4.7 months supply the previous month.
Tags: Census Bureau, new home sales, single-family homes, median sales price, average sales price