After consistently climbing in most of 2016, sales of new single-family homes took a breather in October, dropping 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000 units, compared to September.
Data contained in the Census Bureau's October new home sales report shows that completed transactions have shot higher by 12.7 percent on a year-to-date basis. Moreover, October's sales tally is 17.8 percent higher year-over-year.
"Though slightly down from last month, new home sales have been on an upward trend since last year," said Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
There were 246,000 new homes available for sale in October, a 5.2-month supply, the NAHB said, and the median sales price of new houses sold was $304,500.
Drops in sales were widespread, falling 9.1 percent in the Northeast, 13.7 percent in the Midwest and 3 percent in the South. The West was the only region with a gain, at 8.8 percent.
"Builders are adding to inventory based on consistent gains in sales, solid builder confidence and ongoing job and economic growth," said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the NAHB.
Median Home Sale Price Rises 7 Percent in October
Redfin reports that the median home sale price increased 7 percent in October, the strongest year-over-year growth the online real estate company has seen in 10 months.
At the same time, home inventory has declined for 13 straight months, with an 8.6 percent year-over-year drop in October. This is the biggest decline since May 2013, Redfin said.
Redfin also reports that new listings have decreased 6.9 percent, the largest year-over-year falloff since December 2012. Also, the number of existing homes sold declined 3.2 percent year-over-year following two months of double-digit surges in metro regions the company tracks.