“The new-home sales report covering August released today was the most positive report so far in the housing recovery, but we should be careful to put too much credence to the monthly change, which once again failed to be statistically significant”, said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com®.
Sales figures for newly-built homes are notoriously volatile and typically revised heavily in subsequent months.
Surveys show that homebuilders’ outlook is the most optimistic in a decade, a sign that construction could pick up.
New home sales touched a post-recession peak in February, at an annual rate of 545,000.
Sales of new United States single-family houses have jumped in August to a near eight-year high, according to the latest data from the Commerce Department. Recently, supply of new homes has been very limited, so more construction could encourage more sales. But they rose just 0.8 per cent in the April-June quarter from a year ago, he said.
Last week, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said as much, “Demand for housing should be there and should materialize as the job market improves and income growth improves”. The median price of a new home has risen 2 percent in the past 12 months to $285,900. “All the ingredients are there for further strengthening in the housing market”.
Still, for the time being, potential home buyers are finding fewer than normal choices. This is below the 6 months that is historically more common. The August rate is the highest in more than seven years.