New Home Sales Strong

Don Hogsett, October 4, 2004

Sales of costly new homes shot up faster than expected during August, jumping 9.4 percent, but otherwise the housing market turned in a more muted performance, with housing starts largely unchanged, and sales of existing homes falling 2.7 percent.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that new home sales moved at a seasonally adjusted level of 1.18 million units, up from 1.08 million in July, and ahead of a forecasted sales pace of 1.15 million.

The sales picture for new homes was broadly strong, with gains reported in three of the nation's four regions: up 19.5 percent in the West; up 12.6 percent in the South; and up 6.1 percent in the Northeast. The only decline, 8.3 percent, was recorded in the Midwest.

New home sales aside, the picture was mixed. Sales of existing homes, by far the largest chunk of the U.S. housing market, slipped 2.7 percent, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.5 million units, down from a pace of 6.7 million units in July, the National Association of Realtors reported. It was a second straight monthly decline for resales, and over the past two months, sales have now dropped 5.5 percent.

Even after the drop, sales are near historic highs, and are still 9 percent higher than their pace of 6 million units recorded in January.

Housing starts, a gauge of future sales, were relatively flat, edging ahead just 0.6 percent. Starts of single-family homes moved up at a pace of 0.4 percent. Looking even further out, privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits fell 5.5 percent.

HOUSING BY REGION
Month-To-Month % Change

EXISTING HOME SALES HOUSING STARTS NEW HOME SALES
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce and National Association of Realtors
Northeast 0.0% 6.5% 6.1%
Midwest -4.3 4.8 -8.3
South -2.9 1.0 12.6
West -1.6 -4.7 19.5


Featured Video

  • Live From New York: Fashion Comes Across the Pond

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.

CURRENT ISSUE

HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!