Sales of newly-built homes slipped in July, falling 1 percent as compared to June. Home buyers closed on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized 298,000 units, the lowest reading since February.
The supply of new homes, however, remained flat.
July’s 6.6 months of supply equaled June’s tally and remains near the multi-year low of 6.5 months set in May of this year. The figures suggest a new home market that’s finding its balance.
Builders are building to meet demand, and not much more.
The New Home Sales report may have read differently if not for the Northeast Region which doubled its sales units in July. The gains buoyed the broader data, re-affirming the importance of looking past national data and focusing on what’s local; the national market is not reflective of any given town
Broken down by region, July New Home Sales fared as follows:
- Northeast Region : +100.0% from June 2011
- Midwest Region : +2.4% from June 2011
- South Region : -7.4% from June 2011
- West Region : -5.9% from June 2011
However, as with most months, it’s important that we recognize the New Home Sales data’s margin of error.
Although New Home Sales showed a 1 percent drop in July, the reported margin of error was ±12.9%. This means that the actual reading could have been as high as +11.9 percent, or as low as -13.9 percent. Because the range includes both positive and negative values, the Census Bureau assigned its July data “zero confidence”.
New Home Sales appear to be stable, despite falling sales figures. Supplies remain flat and builder confidence does, too. The good news for buyers , then, is that lower mortgage rates are making homes more affordable.
Mortgage rates are currently at 50-year lows.