New home sales post 3.6 percent rise in July: VIDEO

Showing some positive signs, the number of nationwide sales of newly built, single-family homes posted a 3.6 percent month-over-month rise in July, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted rate of 372,000 (see video above).

Today’s data marks an increase from the 8.4 percent drop in June, which came unexpectedly.

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“Sales of new homes in July returned to the same solid pace they set in May, which was the fastest sales rate we’d seen in more than two years,” said National Association of Home Builders Chairman Barry Rutenberg in a separate statement. “This is further evidence that consumers are becoming more confident in local housing markets as they look to take advantage of today’s very favorable prices and interest rates.”

Broken down by region, the Northeast posted a massive 76.5 month-over-month increase in new-home sales, as well as 30.4 percent year-over-year gain. The Midwest saw a 7.7 percent month-over-month increase, whereas the South and West posted respective declines of 1.6 and 0.9 percent.

“Today’s good report is the latest indicator of a gradual upward trend that we expect to continue through the remainder of this year,” said David Crowe, chief economist of NAHB, in the statement. However, “the fact that the inventory of new homes for sale reached an all-time low in July is a worrisome signal that ongoing, unnecessary tight credit conditions are keeping builders from being able to replenish supplies as consumer demand improves.” — Zachary Kussin