Housing Figures: New Home Sales Stay Strong, Single-Family Starts Rise

October 1, 2020

Housing Figures: New Home Sales Stay Strong, Single-Family Starts Rise

Housing Figures is our monthly round-up of the top news stories related to residential new construction spending and the latest market numbers.  

New home sales continue to remain strong, as indicated by the latest numbers, while existing home sales are also shining bright. And while the latest housing starts numbers were down overall, single-family starts pulled through, increasing by more than four percent.  

New home PSI up by 40 percent. The New Home Pending Sales Index, tracked by Meyers Research, rose 40 percent year-over-year in August, showing how the housing market continues to shine. At local levels, Minneapolis lead the largest metros in year-over-year change rising almost 90 percent from 2019. Colorado Springs, Colorado, lead the smaller metros (cities with less than one million on population), coming in at 120 percent year-over-year change. [Builder] 

New homes sales at highest pace since 2006. August’s new home sales totaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.01 million. That's up 4.8 percent from July and 43 percent up from August 2019The last time the market exceeded 1 million sales in a month occurred 14 years ago. In other numbers, the inventory of new homes fell 3.1 percent from July and 13.2 percent from August 2019. [Zillow] 

Home prices up 14 percent over 2019. A new Redfin report found that the national median price for homes during a four-week period ending Sept. 20 came in at $319,978  a 14 percent increase from the previous year (and the largest increase seen since 2013)The real estate brokerage also found that pending sales rose 29 percent year-over-year during that same period, and new listings jumped six percent. [Redfin] 

Existing home sales also at highest level since 2006. The latest data from the National Association of Realtors shows that existing home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of six million in August. Sales rose 2.4 percent from July and 10.5 percent from August 2019. That’s the third month in a row for positive gains. [Builder] 

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Single-family housing starts up 4.1 percent. The latest Census Bureau numbers show that single-family housing starts were up 4.1 percent above July’s revised figure of 981,000. Housing starts were down overall in August by 5.1 percent month-over-month, or 1.416 million, with multifamily included. However, starts were up 2.8 percent above the August 2019 rate. Overall permits were down slightly from July, though single-family authorizations were up six percent. [Census Bureau] 

Homes took about 8.1 months to build in 2019. new report from the Census Bureau indicates that in 2019, single-family homes took a little over eight months to complete. That number has been on the rise since 2014. When broken down, houses built for sale took the shortest time at about seven months, while custom builds generally took about 13.5 months. This time includes authorization to start and construction. [Eye on Housing] 

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