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ArlingtonReal EstateWhich direction are new-home prices heading? Up, up, up ...

Which direction are new-home prices heading? Up, up, up …

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The median sales price of new homes that sold across the U.S. in July stood at $390,500, up more than 18 percent from the $329,800 median sales price posted a year earlier, due to higher development costs, including materials.

That’s according to new data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which continues to voice concerns about costs of homes outstripping the ability of many Americans to pay for them.

“Builders will need to watch local home prices relative to incomes, given recent gains in building materials and other construction costs,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist for NAHB.

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 1 percent in July to a 708,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“While new home sales are up 6.9 percent on a year-to-date basis, they are down 27 percent in July compared to the same time last year,” Dietz said. As a result, inventory is rising, which could exacerbate problems for builders, both related to homes staying on the market longer and the inability to start new projects.

A “new-home sale” occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed.

Regionally, on a year-to-date basis, new-home sales rose in all four regions, up 7.5 percent in the Northeast, 10.6 percent in the Midwest, 9.1 percent in the South and 0.5 percent in the West. Increases are due in part to lower sales volume during the COVID crisis a year ago, NAHB officials said.

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