The good news: New home sales rose nearly nine percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2019. The bad news: New home inventory fell 11.1 percent at the same time in the biggest inventory drop since 2012. Existing home supply fared even worse, sliding back over 14 percent. Experts say the lack of inventory is worsened by the fact that builders often develop land where it is cheap, which is not usually where new homes are needed to make housing affordable again. All of these factors—combined with the fact that the housing market activity will ramp up this spring—will make for an even tighter supply, and potential homebuyers will most likely continue to struggle to find an affordable house in their dream location.
New-home sales rose 8.8% year over year in the fourth quarter, the biggest gain in more than two years and the third-consecutive quarter of increases, driving continued depletion of inventory in the market.
New-home supply slid 11.1% year over year, the biggest inventory drop since at least 2012 and the third-straight quarter of declines.
National sale prices of new homes slipped 0.3% year over year to a median of $369,900 in the fourth quarter. That marks the smallest drop out of the past three-consecutive quarters of declines. But even though the national median price was flat from last year, many more affordable markets, including Greensboro, NC, saw prices rise.