Low Mortgage Rates Good for Refinances, Not New Home Builders

July 26, 2012 (Chris Moore)

The record low mortgage interest rates in June were a boon for homeowners who wanted to refinance, but they didn’t help the nation’s new home builders as sales of new single-family homes fell in June according to the latest housing data released by the Census Bureau.

Sales of new single-family homes fell 8.4 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 350,000, down from a sales rate of 382,000 in May. On an unadjusted basis, new home sales declined by 9.1 percent from the previous month.

The rate of sales in June was still 15.1 percent higher than the estimated sales rate of 304,000 units in June of 2011. Sales were also 15.2 percent higher than in June of last year on an unadjusted basis. Through the end of June, new home sales are 20.3 percent higher than at the same time last year.

The median sales price of the new homes sold in June was $232,600, which was down from a revised $237,100 in May. The average sales price for a new home in June was $273,900, down from a revised $278,000 in May.

Seventy-one percent of the new single-family homes sold in June were under $300,000, up from 70 percent in May.

In June of last year, the median sales price of a new home was 3.7 percent higher at $240,200, while the average sales price was 0.03 percent lower at $273,100.

Three of the four national regions posted declines in seasonally adjusted monthly sales led by a 60.0 percent decline in the Midwest, followed by an 8.6 percent decline in the South and an 8.4 percent decline in the Northeast.

The West was the only region to post a gain in homes sales, increasing by 2.1 percent over the previous month.

Compared to a year ago, three of the four regions showed improvement with the West posting the largest increase of 36.1 percent followed by the Midwest at 19.6 percent while the South reported an increase of 6.5 percent and the Northeast was unchanged from the previous month

Inventory of new single-family homes remained on par with the previous five months with a seasonally adjusted 144,000 homes available for sale, which translates into a 4.9 months supply of inventory, up from a revised 4.5 months supply the previous month.

Tags: Census Bureau, new home sales, single-family homes, median sales price, average sales price

Source:
Census Bureau