New-home sales surged to the highest rate since February 2008, as the new-construction market continues to gain ground this year. Sales of newly built single-family homes increased 2.2 percent, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000 units in May, according to a report from the Commerce Department.
“Our builders are seeing motivated buyers and the release of pent-up housing demand,” says Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “However, builders are facing supply-chain challenges, which is affecting the inventory of new homes.”
Sales are nearly 20 percent higher than the pace in May 2014. New-home inventories remain tight at 206,000, a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace. That’s pushed the average sales price of a new home sold in May to $337,000.
“This month’s new-home sales report is consistent with other government data and rising builder confidence that indicate a continual recovery of the housing market,” says David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist.
Regionally, new-home sales were mixed in May. They rose 87.5 percent month-over-month in the Northeast and had a 13.1 percent boost in the West. However, new-home sales dropped 5.7 percent in the Midwest and 4.3 percent in the South.