New-home sales rise in September

The Scotsman Guide - Victor Whitman - 26 October 2016

Sales of newly built homes were up for the month in September and have risen significantly over the pace a year ago.

New-home sales were estimated an annual rate of 593,000, up 3.1 percent above the August rate. That pace is nearly 30 percent above of the rate in September 2015. According to the Census Bureau estimates, sales were up significantly year-over-year in all regions.  

One note of caution, however. The new-home sales report is based on a limited sampling size, and is subject to wide margins of error in each of the regions.

National Association of Realtors analyst Danielle Hale said the 12-moving averages suggest that the new-home sales are up by around 12 percent over last year's pace. She noted that one encouraging trend is that homes are now selling in all phases of the construction, not just after the homes are completed.

She said stronger sales should encourage more builders to ramp up starts. 

"There is room for [new home sales] to be stronger," Hale told Scotsman Guide News. "It was still a pretty good report." 

The median sale price of new homes was $313,500 in September, the Census Bureau reported.