New home sales ticked up for the second-straight month in August.
Nationwide sales of new single-family houses rose a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 740,000 in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest report.
While that’s a 1.5 percent increase from July’s 729,000 units, it still represents a 24.3 percent decline from last August’s estimate of 977,000 homes, when the housing market was in a period of unprecedented activity.
The median sales price was $390,900, up considerably from last August’s $312,800, while the average sales price was $443,200.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale by the end of the month was 378,000. It would take an estimated six months to sell all homes at the current sales rate.
The Midwest saw the biggest drop in home sales, both month-over-month and year-over-year. With about 445,000 homes sold, it was 31.1 percent lower than July’s estimates, and nearly 47 percent lower than the number of units sold in August 2020.
The Northeast, on the other hand, saw the biggest jump from July, with 26.1 percent more homes sold. Still, the numbers represent a 37 percent drop from last August.
The South had 6 percent more homes sold compared to July, and 23 percent fewer homes sold compared to August last year. The West had 1.4 percent more homes sold compared to July, and 16.3 percent fewer homes sold compared to last August.
The intensity that’s gripped the housing market during the pandemic has shown signs of receding in recent months: Home prices appear to be stabilizing, and competition has been winding down despite a persistent gap between supply and demand for new homes.