New home sales rise for second consecutive month

Sales of new single-family homes in August increased 1.5% from the prior month, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 740,000, according to a report from the U.S. Commerce Department released on Friday. That’s the second straight month of rising sales for homebuilders, though there’s good reason to think the height of the frenzy is behind us.

Sales of new homes were down 24.3% from a year prior, and the median sales price of new single-family homes in August 2021 reached $390,900, 20.1% higher than August 2020.

“The housing market over the summer of 2021 appears to have settled at a level lower than the surge in the second half of 2020 into early 2021,” Ben Ayers, a senior economist at Nationwide,said in a statement. “Still, new home sales remain high relative to levels since the housing market crash and show continued strong demand from buyers.”

The number of new houses for sale in August 2021 (378,000) represents a 6.1 month supply of new houses at the current sales rate, according to the report. This is a 74.3% increase over August 2020 levels, and reflects the 17.4% increase in housing starts compared to a year ago.

Industry experts feel that this is a reflection of the steadying confidence among homebuilders, which remains high, despite a recent decline.

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