A classic good news, bad news story. The good news? US new home sales rose 5.8% in November, better that the expected -5.1%, The bad news? On a year-over-year basis, US new home sales FELL
Sales of new US homes unexpectedly rose in November, suggesting some stabilization in demand as mortgage rates eased late in the month from their highs.
Purchases of new single-family homes increased 5.8% to an annualized 640,000 pace last month after rising in October, government data showed Friday.
A mid-month retreat in 30-year mortgage rates back below 7% along with an increase in builder incentives may have helped support demand. Still, the sales data are volatile from month to month. With home prices remaining elevated and the Federal Reserve poised to raise interest rates further, headwinds for the housing market will persist into 2023.
The increase in sales last month was concentrated in the West and Midwest.
The report, produced by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, showed the median sales price of a new home was up 9.5% from a year earlier to $471,200.
There were 461,000 new homes for sale as of the end of last month, though the grand majority remain under construction or not yet started. The number of homes sold in November and awaiting the start of construction — a measure of backlogs — rose to the highest since the beginning of the year.
But for all the cheerleading, new home sales were DOWN -15.3% on a year-over-year basis. The ninth straight month of negative new home sales growth.
At least the median price of new home sales was down -2.79% from October to November.