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July sales of new homes fall sharply compared with month earlier

August 23, 2013|By Andrew Khouri
  • New-home sales fell in July compared to June but were still above the numbers from a year ago.
New-home sales fell in July compared to June but were still above the numbers… (Chris O'Meara / Associated…)

New home sales fell 13.4% in July from a month earlier, but are still above year-ago levels, according to new data. 

The Commerce Department said Friday that sales of newly built homes reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000. The sales came in far below expectations, and June’s five-year high was revised downward. Higher interest rates may have tempered demand.

Still, new home sales were 6.8% more than a year earlier. 

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Both supply and home prices increased in July compared with a month earlier. Buyers paid a median of $257,200 for a new house last month. If new homes continued to sell at the current rate, there would be a supply of 5.2 months. 

The housing recovery has builders increasingly optimistic about the new-home market, but they have yet to ramp up construction to normal levels. Developers cite the lack of ready-to-go lots and a shortage of qualified labor among their concerns.

ALSO:

U.S. home sales rise in July

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California pending home sales fall slightly in July

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