New Home Sales Remain Flat In August

NAHB E-Release: New-Home Sales Remain Flat in August

CONTACT: Paul Lopez
(202) 266-8409


WASHINGTON, Sept 24 – Sales of newly built, single-family homes were
unchanged in August, holding at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 288,000
units and matching July’s revised sales figures, according to data released
by the U.S. Commerce Department today.

“Today’s report is in keeping with recent builders surveys that indicated
that most potential home buyers have put off buying due to uncertainty about
the economy and job market,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the National
Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield
Hills, Mich. ” However, many of our members remain frustrated because they
can’t get loans for viable projects and are turning customers away.”

“The general housing market is clearly in a holding pattern,” agreed NAHB
Chief Economist David Crowe. “While historically low interest rates and
affordable prices should attract potential home buyers to the market, the
slow pace of economic recovery and worries about job security are keeping
many of them on the fence. Unfortunately, in the regions where we are seeing
increasing demand, builders are stymied by the inability to get loans to
build homes.”

Sales of new homes increased in the Northeast and West by 16.7 percent and
54.3 percent, respectively. The Midwest and South posted double-digit
declines of 26.1 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.

The latest figures indicated that builders are continuing to keep a tight
rein on the inventory of new homes for sale. That inventory, at 207,000
units in August, was 1.0 percent lower than the month before. The pace of
sales activity was essentially unchanged, with the month’s supply of homes
dropping to 8.6 from 8.7 in the previous month.