New-Home Sales Start 2024 Strong, Rising 1.5% in January

As the housing market correction continues to unfold in 2024, with inflation slowing and mortgage rates leveling out, new-home sales saw continued growth in January after a bounce-back in December. 

New-home sales registered at a rate of 661,000 in January, 1.5% above December’s rate of 664,000 and up 1.8% year-over-year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Annually in 2023, new-home sales were up 4.2% from 2022, totaling 668,000 versus 641,000. This month’s sales data gives hope that this trend of yearly growth will continue through 2024.

“The housing sector is super sensitive to small changes in mortgage rates in the current environment,” National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in an interview with Yahoo News.

Yun explained that the rate jump down to the mid-6% range seen this year brought more consumers to the market. “So (there is) super sensitivity among consumers to mortgage rates,” he said.

The median sales price of new houses sold in January was $420,700, and the average sales price was $534,300.

Inventory wise, the estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 456,000. At the current sales rate, this is a supply of 8.3 months (a measure near six months is considered balanced).

Regionally, the Northeast was up 72% monthly and 4.9% yearly; the Midwest was up 7.7% monthly and down 4.1% yearly; the South was down 15.6% monthly and 13.5% yearly; and the West was up 38.7% monthly and 57% yearly.

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