New Home Sales 25% Higher Than a Year Ago

A great bit of news on the new home sales front:

New home sales rose 3.2 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 units, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This marks a 25.3 percent increase in new home sales since July 2011.

Improved economic conditions, higher levels of builder confidence, historically low mortgage rates, and the implementation of federal housing assistance programs may be contributing factors to this growth, according to some experts. As inventory continues to shrink, however, sales of existing homes may not carry the same level of momentum.

According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors®, existing home sales continued to improve overall in July; however, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun explained that the overall improvement may be overshadowing certain shortages.

“The total supply of housing inventory appears to be balanced in historic terms, but there are notable shortages in the lower price ranges which are limiting opportunities for first-time buyers,” said Yun. “The low price ranges also are popular with investors, so entry-level buyers are at a disadvantage because many investors are making all-cash offers.”

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