Contracts for new, single-family home sales declined in October by 0.7% to a 733,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate according to estimates from the joint release of HUD and the Census Bureau. The decline came off an upwardly revised September estimate, which was increased from an initial reading of 701,000 to a new estimate of 738,000. Year-over-year, the October estimate is 31.6% higher. Sales continue to grow in October supported by lower borrowing costs. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is currently at 3.66%, still below its peak of 4.94% in November 2018, according to Freddie Mac.
Total sales for the first ten months of 2019 (586,000) were 9.6% higher than the comparable total for 2018 (534,000). The gains were largely concentrated in the South and the West. New home sales were up 15.7% in the South, 9.1% in the West, and down 7.5% in the Midwest and 11.1% in the Northeast.
Inventory continues to decline 3.3% from a year ago to a level of 322,000 single-family homes for sale in October. The current months’ supply stands at a balanced level of 5.3.
Median new home sales price (price of a home in the middle of the distribution) increased 2.1% in October to $316,700 compared to September and 3.5% lower from a year ago ($328,300). Sales last month were concentrated in the homes priced below $300,000 (45%).