New Home Sales Beat Expectations In August

Sales of newly built single-family homes rose more than economists expected in August, marking the second-consecutive month of gains. The 1.5 percent increase pushed sales to a 740,000-unit annual rate and included spikes of 26 percent in the Northeast and 6 percent in the West. But while the sales gains are positive news for the housing market, they continue to lag behind last year's levels – with sales 24.3 percent lower than they were at the same time one year earlier. The numbers, from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, also showed that the supply of available new homes for sale has now risen to the highest level in 13 years. In fact, there is now a 6.1-month supply of new homes for sale at the current sales pace. And, with the market starved for supply, the growing number of available new homes is encouraging, as it should help slow price increases and provide home buyers with more choices. (source)

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