U.S. new-home sales increased 1.5% to an annual rate of 740,000, the government said Friday. The figure equates to how many homes would be sold over a yearlong period of time if the same number were bought in each month based on the rate of sales in July. Compared to a year ago, sales were down 24%.The median forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch was that new home sales would come in at an annual rate of 720,000 for August. The median sales price of new houses sold in August was $390,900, rising slightly from the previous month to reach a new record high.
Existing-home sales dropped 2% to a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 5.88 million in August, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Compared with August 2020, home sales were down 1.5%. Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected existing-home sales to come in at 5.87 million. The median sales price of an existing home was up nearly 15% year-over-year at $356,700.
U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.62 million in August, representing a 3.9% increase from the previous month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday. Compared with August 2020, housing starts were up 17.4%. The pace of permitting for new housing units also increased in August. Permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.73 million, up 6% from July and 13.5% from a year ago. With both housing starts and building permits, the gains recorded in August were driven by an uptick in multifamily construction activity. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected housing starts to occur at a pace of 1.55 million and building permits to come in at a pace of 1.62 million.