Sales of new single-family homes rose in May

New single-family home sales rose in May, up 10.7% to a seasonally adjusted 696,000 year-on-year from 629,000 in April. The increase in May follows a 12.0% fall in April, a 9.5% fall in March, a 4.9% fall in February and a 1.0% fall in January. Despite an increase in May, after a four-month decline, sales were down 5.9% year-over-year (see first chart). Meanwhile, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages stood at 5.25% at the end of May, up sharply from a low of 2.65% in January 2021. strength (see first diagram).

Sales of new single-family homes rose in May in two of the country’s four regions. Sales in the South, the largest by volume, were up 12.8%, while sales in the West were up 39.3%. However, sales in the Midwest were down 18.3% and sales in the Northeast, the smallest region by volume, were down 51.1% in a month. Over the past 12 months, sales are down 42.5% in the Northeast and 37.0% in the Midwest, but up 0.5% in the West and 1.5% in the South (see second chart).

The median selling price for a new single-family home was $449,000 (see chart 3), up from $454,700 in May (not seasonally adjusted). The year-over-year increase is 15.0% compared to 20.7% for the 12 months in April. On a 12-month average, the average price of a single-family home is still at an all-time high.

The total stock of new single-family homes for sale rose 1.6% in May to 444,000, bringing the monthly supply (number of stock times 12 divided by the annual sales rate) to 7.7, up 7.2% less than in April, but still 42.6% more than last year. level back (see the fourth graph). The monthly supply is very large in historical comparison (see fourth chart). High prices, increased monthly supply and higher mortgage rates should affect the activity in the housing market in the coming months and quarters. However, the average time a new home was on the market remained very low in May at 2.4 months versus 3.1 months in April.

Robert Hughes

Bob Hughes

Robert Hughes joined AIER in 2013 after over 25 years of economic and financial market research on Wall Street. Bob previously led the Global Equity Strategy division of Brown Brothers Harriman, where he developed an equity investment strategy that combines top-down macro analysis with bottom-up fundamentals.

Prior to joining BBH, Bob was Senior Equity Strategist at State Street Global Markets, Senior Economic Strategist at Prudential Equity Group, and Senior Economist and Financial Markets Analyst at Citicorp Investment Services. Bob holds an MA in Economics from Fordham University and a BA in Business from Lehigh University.

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