The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau had more good news for housing this morning. Sales of newly constructed single-family houses increased by 4.4 percent in November, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 377,000 units. This is an increase of 15.3 percent from the rate in November 2011 and is the ninth time in the last 12 months that sales have increased. October sales were revised downward to 361,000 from the 368,000 originally reported.
The median price of new houses sold in November was $246,200 compared to $214,300 in November 2011. The average sales price in November was $299,700 compared to $250,000 a year earlier.
The inventory of unsold homes continues to decline. At the end of November there were 149,000 homes on the market, a 4.7 month supply at the current rate of sales. This is a -4.1 percent change from October and 17.5 percent lower than in November 2011 where there were 155,000 homes for sale, a 5.7 month inventory.
There were major month-over-month swings in the pace of sales in the four regions; both positive and negative changes reached double digits. In the Northeast sales were at an annual adjusted rate of 27,000 units, up 12.5 percent from October and 68.8 percent higher than one year earlier. Sales in the South were at an annual rate of 12,000, up 21.1 percent from October and 17.2 percent annually. The West is on a pace to sell 149,000 homes, down 17.8 percent from the previous month but up 13.7 percent since November 2011. In the Midwest sales were down 12.5 percent in October to a rate of 49,000 units and the Midwest was the only region where sales lagged behind those of a year earlier, a -5.8 percent change.