Sales of newly built, single-family homes in July fell 9.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 units from an upwardly revised June reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the lowest sales reading since December 2016. Meanwhile, year-to-date, new home sales are 9.2 percent above their level over the same period last year.
Some pull back in new home sales this month is not surprising after strong May and June readings, said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. Builders must continue to manage construction costs to ensure houses remain affordable.
The year-to-date growth shows that new home sales continue to trend upward at a steady pace over the longer term, said NAHB Senior Economist Michael Neal. Steady economic growth and a healthier labor market suggest that the underlying economic fundamentals remain in place for a continued recovery.
The inventory of new homes for sale was 276,000 in July, which is a 5.8-month supply at the current sales pace.
Regionally, new home sales increased 6.2 percent in the Midwest. Sales fell 4.1 percent in the South, 21.3 percent in the West and 23.8 percent in the Northeast.