Sales of new single-family houses in September came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rate was 3.1% above the downwardly-revised August rate of 575,000 and 29.8% above the September 2015 estimate of 457,000.
Three of four regions reported month-to-month gains, with the Northeast rising 33.3% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 32,000. The Midwest and South picked up 8.6% and 3.4%, respectively. The West was the only region that saw sales slump over the course of last month, dropping -4.5% to 147,000. All regions made significant gains compared to a year ago, with the Northeast leaping by 60%, the largest improvement year-over-year.
The median sales price of new houses sold in September 2016 was $313,500, up from $293,800 in August and $307,600 a year earlier. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of September was 235,000, representing a supply of 4.8 months at the current sales rate.
New homes priced from $200,000 to $299,999, and from $300,000 to $399,000 were the most popular price ranges for September, each accounting for about 29%, of total new homes sold in last month. These two price ranges also saw a huge sales bump year-over-year, as more people are buying homes priced in the middle-tier. Home sales between $500,000 and $749,000 gained some momentum in the past year as well, signaling an uptick in the luxury, higher-end home market. In contrast, sales of affordable, entry-level homes continued to decline, due in part to the tight inventory for more affordable homes seen across the board.