New single-family home sales increased for the fourth month in a row in January, surging 7.2% month over month to an annual rate of 670,000 homes, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported.
Meanwhile, the median price of a new home sold during the month declined, sliding to $427,500 from $465,600 in December and $430,500 in January 2022.
Year over year, the pace of newly built home sales in January was down 19.4% from the year-ago rate of 831,000.
“January had the lowest level of existing home sales in over a decade — and motivated buyers are increasingly seeking new homes because there is limited resale inventory available,” RCLCO Principal Kelly Mangold said. “Mortgage rates are spooking sellers looking to upgrade when they calculate the potential increase in their monthly payments, and the hesitation to put existing homes on the market is allowing new construction homes to have less competition.”
By region, the pace of new-construction home sales was mixed, with monthly declines of 19.4%, 7.3% and 6.9% in the Northeast, Midwest and West, respectively, and a 17.1% gain in the South.
Months’ supply of homes for sale fell to 7.9 months from 8.7 months in December; in January 2022, there was a 5.7-month supply of homes.