Across US, new home sales and prices drop

The dip reached an 8-month low in June, and median prices also declined

(Credit: Public Domain Pictures)
(Credit: Public Domain Pictures)

The nation’s housing market is showing signs of a slowing down.

New home sales reached an eight-month low, according to new government data released Wednesday, dropping 5.3 percent from May. The numbers came out to an annualized pace of 631,000 new homes, according to the data, which Bloomberg reported first.

The median home prices was also down last month, to $302,100, which represented a year over year decline of just over 4 percent That drop actually reflects an increase the number of sales in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.

At the current pace, it will take nearly six months to run through the available inventory of homes, which was around 301,000 at the end of June. That’s the slowest rate since March 2009.

New home sales represent about 10 percent of the entire housing market, but on the existing home sales front, the numbers don’t look much better.

Existing home sales also fell in June, for the third straight month.

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Some regional markets are showing similar negative trends.

Southern California saw its slowest June in terms of sales in four years, although that’s likely because of high prices and low inventory. The median price was up 7.3 percent compared to June 2017.

Things were similarly dreary in Manhattan in May, where all home sales were down a dramatic 34.2 percent year over year. And in South Florida, after rising in April, home sales fell in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in May. They rose slightly in Palm Beach County.

In Chicago, however, area median home sale prices ticked up in May, reaching the highest level since June 2008, just before the full force of the recession hit.

There is also some general good news amid the market gloom. The number of unfinished homes sold nationwide was at its highest in four months, which could be a sign of healthy future demand, experts said. [Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch