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New Single-Family Home Sales Increased 19.9 Percent in 2012

by Peter Thomas Ricci

new-single-family-home-sales-census-bureau-new-housing-inventory-2013

New single-family home sales increased 19.9 percent from 2011 to 2012, with new housing inventory showing even more improvement.

New single-family home sales in 2012 increased 19.9 percent over 2011, as the homebuilding market concluded its most productive year of business in some time.

According to the latest Census Bureau figures, new single-family home sales were also up 8.8 percent year-over-year in December at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000 sales.

New-Single Family Home Sales – A Strong 2012

Other details in the Census Bureau’s report included:

  • The median sales price for new single-family homes in December was $248,900, an increase of 1.1 percent from November.
  • Similarly, the average sales price was $304,000, a monthly increase of 1.4 percent.
  • Altogether, the Census Bureau estimates that 367,000 new single-family homes were sold in 2012, which, again, is 19.9 percent above 2011. For a chart on how well new single-family home sales performed in 2012, see here.

New-Home Inventory Continues to Show Improvement

As encouraging as the Census Bureau’s sales data was, though, its findings on new single-family housing inventory could be the most positive takeaway of all. New housing inventory, the bureau found, increased from a 4.5 month-supply to 4.9 months.

This is notable for two reasons: first, it’s a reminder of how well new housing inventory has stabilized in the post-boom marketplace. As we all know, there was an over-supply of new housing when the economy slowed in 2008, and in January 2009, new housing inventory peaked as an incredible 12.1 months of supply. But now, with builders cutting back as much as they have the past couple years, inventory is balanced – which brings us to the second reason of notability, that new housing inventory increased somewhat from November to December.

Existing-home inventory, as we’ve covered quite extensively, is at its lowest level in more than seven years, and homebuyers are faced with increasing competition for the few remaining properties on the market. But new home construction, emboldened by the highest homebuilder confidence since 2006, could begin picking up the slack, if these new inventory numbers are any indication.

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