New Home sales have done it again, rising for
the third straight month. The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and
Urban Development estimate that newly constructed single-family homes were sold
at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 776,000 units. This is a 13.8 percent
increase over the May rate, which was revised higher, from 676,000 units to
682,000. Sales are now greater than the same month in 2019 for the first time
since the pandemic struck, up 6.9 percent compared to June of last year. They also
topped the 774,000 units reported in January 2020, said to be a 13-year high.

Sales were higher than even the most optimistic
projection by analysts polled by Econoday. Their forecasts ranged from a
648,000-unit annualized rate to 720,000. The consensus was 700,000.

On an unadjusted basis there were 74,000 new homes
sold during the month. Sales in May were estimated at 64,000. For the
year-to-date sales have totaled 372,000, up from 360,000 for the first half of
2019, a 3.2 percent gain.

The median price of a home sold during the month was
$329,200 compared to $311,800
in June 2019. The average prices were $384,700
and $361,900, respectively.

Sales were up 89 percent from May in the Northeast and
were 115.5 percent higher on an annual basis. In the Midwest, the gain was 10.5
percent for the month and 33.3 percent year-over-year. Sales in the South
increased 7.2 percent from May but were down 1.8 percent from the June 2019
level. Sales in the West grew by 18.0 percent and 4.1 percent from the two
earlier periods.

At the end of June there were an estimated 307,000
homes for sale nationwide, an estimated 4.7-month supply at the current rate of
sales. The current inventory is 14.5 percent lower than in both May and in June
2019. Of the 307,000 homes for sale, only 64,000 are ready for occupancy.

By Jann Swanson , dated 2020-07-24 11:00:50

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Courtesy of Mortgage News Daily

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