Agents and brokers have seen business pick up as homeowners flood into real estate as yet another index points to a strong housing market, and very healthy economy.
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report sales of new single-family houses in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000.
This is 17.5 percent above the revised October rate of 624,000 homes sold and 26.6 percent above the November 2016 estimate of 579,000.
According to the data, the median sales price of new houses sold in November 2017 was $318,700. The average sales price was $377,100. This is down from October, which was $319,600 and $394,700, respectively.
Housing demand is benefiting from a strong job market and still- low mortgage costs. New-home sales, tabulated when contracts get signed, account for about 10 percent of the market. They’re considered a timelier barometer than purchases of previously owned homes, which are calculated when contracts close and are reported by the National Association of REALTORS®.
Analysts at S&P called the sales numbers the “highest level in a decade.”
Moreover, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, existing home sales also increased for the third straight month to their highest point in more than a decade.
Brent Nyitray, director of capital markets at iServe Residential Lending, noted that while this is good news for the market, there may be a bigger, better knock-on effect for the national economy if this keeps up.
“Don’t forget, housing’s contribution to GDP is way, way below historical levels. If 2018 is the year homebuilding finally breaks out, it will have an outsized effect on GDP growth,” he said. “Labor shortages might be the bottleneck, but as wages rise, they attract new workers so that state of affairs doesn’t last long. Swinging a hammer pays a lot more than slinging burgers.”