September New Home Sales 32% Higher Than Last Year

Sales of newly built single-family homes fell slightly in September – but remained significantly higher than a year ago, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders.

New home sales fell 3.5 percent from August to September. The September rate is 32.1 percent higher than 2019, and new home sales are up 16.9 percent overall this year.

“With sales up 32 percent from a year ago, the demand for new single-family homes remains strong as interest rates are at historic lows,” NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said. “However, the recent run-up in lumber and other material costs is leading to an increase in pricing.”

New home sales were up across the country in 2020, including 22.5 percent in the Northeast, 25.9 percent in the Midwest, 14.4 percent in the South and 18 percent in the West.

Inventory inched up to a 3.6 months’ supply, with 284,000 new single-family homes for sale, 32.1 percent lower than August 2019. This is the third consecutive month with inventory running under four months’ supply, NAHB found.

“The pace of new home sales growth over the summer was going to slow given that the gap between sales and single-family construction reached an all-time high in August,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Indeed, September sales of new homes that had not started construction were up 47 percent compared to a year ago.”