Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-09-24 12:33:05 –
AP Business Writer
Silver Spring, Maryland (AP) — US new home sales rose moderately in August as rising prices kept potential buyers aside.
The Commerce Department reported on Friday that sales of new homes increased 1.5% last month, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 740,000 units. This was more than economists expected and was revised upward to seasonally adjusted 729,000 units following the July increase. The surge in July came after three consecutive declines in April, May and June as builders tackled soaring timber prices and labor shortages.
Prices for new homes also rose in August. The median of new homes has risen from $ 400 to $ 390,900, more than 20% higher than in August 2020, when the median of new homes was $ 325,500.
Construction companies have been hit by rising costs, and shortages of building materials and labor have spilled over into the construction industry. Delays are common and many builders are urged to dial back the number of new homes for sale. As it becomes more expensive to build a new home, some of those costs will be passed on to the buyer.
Earlier this week, the National Association of Real Estate Agents reported that sales of previously occupied US homes declined in August, a bit lessening the price hike from its previous blazing pace.
New home sales increased in three of the four regions of the United States, with a sharp decline of 31.1% in the Midwest, according to Commerce. Sales increased 26.1% in the northeast, 6% in the south and 1.4% in the west.
Overall, new home sales are 24.3% slower than they were a year ago. Sales in 2021 have cooled from 993,000 units in January, but have remained at historically high levels.