March 15, 2019
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly reported new residential sales slumped 6.9% in January 2019. The seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 607,000 new home sales in January was down from 652,000 in December.
Sales were 4.1% below the January 2018 estimate of 633,000. The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 336,000, which represents a supply of 6.6 months at the current sales rate. The Northeast, Midwest and South experienced buying declines, though buying in the West rose.
Part of the slowdown may be attributed to buyers pausing during the partial government shutdown, as well as rising mortgage rates that priced many potential buyers out of the market. Economists expect a rebound this year because mortgage rates have eased up, and the economy is recovering from the government shutdown.
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