New Home Sales Cool in July, But Remain Above Last Year’s Record Pace
Coming off a surge in home buying during this year’s second quarter, sales of new single-family houses declined 6.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.134 million units, the Commerce Department reported last week, but remained 15% above the sales level of a year earlier and 4.4% higher than the average for record-setting 2003.
“Builders across the country are still very upbeat about the single-family housing market,” said NAHB President Bobby Rayburn. He noted that last month’s NAHB-Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which is based on the association’s monthly surveys of single-family home builders, was the highest it has been this year and “indicated that all the fundamentals are in place for strong months ahead.”
“Sales activity raced ahead after mortgage rates hit bottom in March and large numbers of fence sitters jumped into the market to beat widely anticipated mortgage rate increases,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “We knew some payback for that additional demand was in the cards.”