New home sales finally level off at 14 year high

By Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily

New home sales declined in September for the first time since April. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said sales of newly constructed homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 959,000 units, a 3.4 percent decline from the prior month. Further, the 1,011,000 sales reported in August were revised down to 994,000. Nonetheless, sales are still up 32.1 percent from one year ago.

Sales were below all the predictions from the Econoday panel of analysts. Those ranged from 1.0 million to 1.05 million. Their consensus was 1.016 million units. Econoday said its consensus forecast had fallen short of actual sales in each of the previous five months.

On a non-adjusted basis there were 75,000 new homes sold during the month compared to 82,000 in August and 56,000 in September 2019. Slightly less than one-third of the homes sold (24,000) were ready for occupancy while the remainder were almost equally divided between homes under construction and homes for which construction had not been initiated.

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