New home sales rebounded in October despite higher mortgage rates, likely due to low existing home inventory and builders using incentives to attract buyers to the new home market. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated sales of newly built, single-family homes in October at a 632,000 seasonally adjusted annual pace, which is a 7.5% increase over downwardly revised September rate of 588,000 and is 5.8% below the October 2021 estimate of 671,000.
Sales-adjusted inventory levels are at an elevated 8.9 months’ supply in October. However, only 63,000 of the new home inventory is completed and ready to occupy. This count has been increasing in recent months and is up 75.0% compared to a year ago. Homes under construction accounts for 63.8% of the inventory. Moreover, sales are increasingly coming from homes that have not started construction, with that count up 13.7% year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted (NSA). The median sales price increased to $493,000 in October, up 8.2% compared to September and is up 15.4% compared to a year ago. In October there were 23,000 homes that were priced above $500,000 compared to 17,000 a year ago.
Nationally, on a year-to-date basis, new home sales are down 14.2% for the first ten months of 2022. Regionally, on a year-to-date basis, new home sales fell in all four regions, down 4.8% in the Northeast, 22.0% in the Midwest, 11.8% in the South, and 17.9% in the West.