New-home Sales Continue To Rise In September

October 27, 2004

WASHINGTON,DC — Sales of new single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million units in September, a 3.5 percent increase from the month before, the U.S. Commerce Department reported today. The rate was 7.0 percent above the sales pace of September 2003.

“With long-term mortgage rates below 6 percent and adjustable rate mortgages around 4 percent, buyers have had a powerful incentive to buy and we expect robust sales to continue in the coming months,” said Bobby Rayburn, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home and apartment builder from Jackson, Miss. “The latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, based on our monthly surveys of single-family builders, indicated that builders saw a large turnout of prospective buyers at model homes and sales centers in October.”

“Economic conditions — low mortgage rates, healthy income and employment growth and solid house price performance — continue to invigorate demand,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “We certainly remain on track to have another record year in 2004.”

Three regions registered sales increases for the month. The Northeast posted a 6.0 percent increase. The Midwest rose 12.3 percent, and sales in the South were up 2.7 percent. The West posted a slight decline, down 0.8 percent for the month.

The inventory of unsold new homes was 404,000 units in September, putting the month’s supply at 4.1 at the current sales pace, slightly lower than the previous month.

Source: NAHB

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