New home sales post highest yearly total in decade: NAHB
By National Association of Home Builders
Jan. 26, 2017 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 12.2 per cent in 2016 to 563,000 units, the highest annual rate since 2007, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. New home sales fell 10.4 per cent in December 2016 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 536,000 units.
"We are encouraged by the growth in the housing sector last year, and by the fact that builders increased inventory by 10 per cent in anticipation of future business," said Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "NAHB's forecast calls for continued upward momentum this year, with housing starts expected to rise 10 per cent over the course of 2017."
"To ensure sales continue to move forward in 2017, builders need to price their homes competitively, especially given that mortgage interest rates are expected to rise this year," said NAHB chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas.
The inventory of new home sales for sale was 259,000 in December, which is a 5.8-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold was $322,500.
Regionally, new home sales increased 48.4 per cent in the Northeast. Sales fell 1.3 percent in the West, 12.6 per cent in the South and 41 per cent in the Midwest.
ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 700 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 per cent of the new housing units projected for this year.