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December New-Home Sales Slipped Closer to Pre-Pandemic Levels

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New-Home Sales

December New-Home Sales Slipped Closer to Pre-Pandemic Levels

New-home sales slowed at the close of 2022 as elevated mortgage rates and home prices chilled a previously red-hot housing market

January 26, 2023
Person accepting house keys in front of new home sold
Image: Stock.adobe.com

The housing market cooled significantly amid ongoing price corrections and near-stagnant homebuyer activity in the final two quarters of 2022, and along with that waning demand came a dip in new-home sales. Home builder sentiment fell for the 12th straight month in December as new-home sales dropped 26.6% year-over-year to a total of 616,000.

At year-end, 2022 saw 16.4% fewer new homes sold than in 2021, and that steady decline is largely due to persistent home price gains. The median sale price of new houses in December was $442,100, according to Zillow.

Home builders have been desperate to attract buyers, but, as of December, the relentless affordability crisis has dropped builder sentiment for twelve straight months. Builders are all but throwing incentives at buyers to attract them back to the new home market, but that doesn’t seem like  enough to combat high mortgage rates and prices. Even though both rates and prices fell in December, new home sales slipped further from the 2021 peak. 

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