Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000 units in December, coming off a downward revision in November, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The monthly number is 23 percent higher than the December 2018 pace. An estimated 681,000 new homes were sold in 2019, 10.3 percent higher than in 2018.
"High levels of home builder confidence, coupled with an insufficient existing housing supply to meet current demand, suggest growth ahead for new home sales this year," says Don Mon, NAHB chairman.
"Despite the slow start for housing in 2019, lower mortgage interest rates accelerated new home sales during the second half of the year, marking it as the best year for new home sales since the recession," says Robert Dietz, NAHB chief economist.
Inventory has been trending lower over the course of 2019 and now stands at a healthy 5.7 months' supply, with 327,000 new single-family homes for sale.