Newly released federal data reaffirmed the continued strength of the housing market.
Sales of new single-family houses in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Last month’s sales level is 2.9 percent above the revised April rate of 593,000 and is 8.9 percent above the May 2016 estimate of 560,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in May was $345,800, while the average sales price was $406,400. The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 268,000, which represents a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate.
Separately, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported house prices rose in April were up 0.7 percent from March. On a year-over-year measurement, April’s home prices were up by 6.8 percent. For the nine census divisions, the seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from March to April ranged from a 0.1 percent decline in the East South Central division to a 1.6 percent upswing in the West South Central division. Year-over-year measurements were positive in all census divisions, ranging from 4.7 percent growth in the West North Central division to an 8.9 percent rise in the Mountain division.
The FHFA also reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 49,104 foreclosure prevention actions in the first quarter. The government-sponsored enterprises’ serious delinquency rate fell to one percent at the end of the first quarter, the lowest level since April of 2008, while the number of 60-plus days delinquent loans declined 10 percent to 377,622 at the end of the first quarter, also the lowest level since 2008.
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