New Home Sales Jump In May

Sales of newly built single-family homes jumped 16.6 percent in May – another sign the housing market is recovering from the devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sales were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 676,000, which was 12.7 percent above the May 2019 levels, the Census Bureau said.

“The May sales numbers are in line with rising builder sentiment,” said Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla. “With home building considered an essential business, this solid sales report is another indicator that housing is leading the economic recovery.”

The report also found:

  • The median sales price of new houses sold in May 2020 was $317,900. The average sales price was $368,800.
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 318,000. This represents a supply of 5.6 months at the current sales rate.

“In a sign of growing demand fueled in part by record low mortgage rates, builder price incentives eased in May and home prices registered an upturn,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Sales are 1.9 percent higher on a year-to-date basis and our NAHB Home Building Geography Index points to construction gains in lower density markets like smaller metros and large metro exurbs in the months ahead.”