New home sales in June hit their highest level in more than five years, a sign of the housing market’s strength in the face of recent increases in mortgage rates.
The Commerce Department said sales rose 8.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000, the best pace since May 2008. May’s sales rate was also revised lower to 459,000.
People who had been thinking about buying a home may have moved faster as rates rose in June, boosting last month’s sales as they tried to beat further rate increases. Now rates appear to have stabilized, and that may keep some potential buyers from making a purchase, leading to softer demand in the future, Naroff said.
The supply of new homes on the market remains tight. At last month’s sales pace, the inventory would sell out in 3.9 months. A six-month supply is considered normal.
Tight supplies are contributing to higher prices, one reason that U.S. homebuilders are growing increasingly confident about their business.
The median sales price of new homes sold last month was $249,700, up 7.4% from a year ago.
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