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New-Home Sales Reach Strongest Rate Since 2006

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Economics

New-Home Sales Reach Strongest Rate Since 2006


April 26, 2021
Family walking into new house
Photo: LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS | stock.adobe.com

Despite ongoing building material issues, new single-family home sales flourished in March, reaching the strongest seasonally adjusted annual rate since September 2006, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Estimated sales of new single-family homes advanced 20.7% from February and 66.8% compared to March 2020, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau. Housing remains a leader in the overall economy, and builder confidence, as shown in the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, reflected this by inching up to 83 this month.

Consider that despite elevated unemployment, new home sales are estimated to be 34.4% higher for the first three months of 2021 compared to the first three months of 2020.

Sales-adjusted inventory levels declined again, falling to a just a 3.6 months’ supply in March. The count of completed, ready-to-occupy new homes is just 37,000 homes nationwide. Total inventory declined 44.6% year-over-year, with inventory down to 307,000.

Moreover, sales are increasingly coming from homes that have not started construction, with that count up 150% year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted (NSA). These measures point to continued gains for single-family construction ahead.

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