According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half-million new homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis, continuing last year’s momentum.
But new home supply is higher than it’s been more than a year, and negotiating buyers could gain the upper hand versus builders in 2017.
For now, a favorable mortgage environment is pushing new home sales ahead.
Today’s mortgage rates are low, and lenders are loosening credit standards rapidly. The result: more mortgage applicants are getting approved.
And, coming up with a down payment is rarely a problem anymore.
A program requiring just 3.5% down is the popular FHA loan. Not to be outdone, the USDA mortgage, also known as the Rural Development Loan, requires absolutely nothing down.
Both programs can be used to buy a newly-constructed home.
New construction still provides great value, and it’s an excellent time to be new-home shopping.
New Home Sales Hit 555,000 Sales, Annualized
Each month, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) jointly release the New Home Sales report.
The report seeks to gauge the health of the new construction market.
A “new home” is one which has not been previously occupied, otherwise known as new construction.
For January 2017, HUD reports 555,000 new homes sold on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis, which was a 3.7 percent increase from the month prior, and 5.5% higher than one year ago.
The 2017 new home market is off to a stellar start, and home builders are optimistic.
Earlier this month, the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) released its Housing Market Index (HMI), a monthly homebuilder confidence survey.
The most recent Housing Market Index shows homebuilder confidence near its highest point in a decade, with home builders projecting sales for the first half of 2017 near multi-year bests.
Demand for new homes has been strong, too, as evidenced by the high number of buyers requesting tours of model units.
The good news for buyers, though, is that new home inventory is actually increasing.