Sales of New Homes Spike in October
Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 25.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000 units in October, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau. The government also reported that new-home sales fell 6.6 percent in September. The release of both the September and October report were delayed by the partial government shutdown in early October. "The October sales numbers show that there is clearly a demand for new housing and the recovery remains on track," said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "However, the recovery continues to be slowed by political uncertainty in Washington and ongoing constraints builders face with regard to tight credit conditions for consumers and the availability of labor, lots and materials." "The strong October results return us to the sales levels we saw earlier this year and negate the pause caused by the sudden jump in interest rates," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "We expect sales to continue to rise as pent up demand is released and first-time home buyers creep back into the market." All four regions posted double-digit sales gains in October. Sales rose 19.2 percent in the Northeast, 34 percent in the Midwest, 28.2 percent in the South and 15.2 percent in the West. The months' supply of new homes fell to 4.9 due to the quicker sales pace in October, and the inventory of new homes for sales also edged down to 183,000 units.