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New Home Sales Rise But Remain Well Under January Peak

New home sales rose by 740,000 at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) in August. The rise barely registers on a chart.
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New Homes Sold 2021-08

The Census Bureau's New Residential Construction report shows seasonally-adjusted sales rose 1.5% in August. 

New Home Sales 

  • Sales of new single‐family houses in August 2021 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 740,000.
  • This is 1.5 percent above the revised July rate of 729,000, but is 24.3 percent below the August 2020 estimate of 977,000. 

Sales Price 

  • The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2021 was $390,900. 
  • The average sales price was $443,200. 

For Sale Inventory and Months’ Supply 

  • The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August was 378,000. 
  • This represents a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate. 

By Region SAAR 

  • Total: 740,000 
  • Northeast: 29,000
  • Midwest: 51,000
  • South: 445,000
  • West: 215,000

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By Region Not Adjusted 

  • Total: 62,000
  • Northeast: 3,000
  • Midwest: 4,000
  • South: 37,000
  • West: 18,000

The headline numbers make it appear as if builders sold 740,000 homes in August. They actually sold 62,000 homes.

New Homes For Sale by Stage of Construction

New Homes For Sale By Stage of Construction 2021-08

There is a big backlog of homes for sale not yet started. Builders delayed starting because of lumber prices, labor shortages, and materials shortages.

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