New home sales increased 8.3% in June compared to May, according to a joint report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Sales of new single-family houses were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000, according to the report. That is above the May rate of 459,000. What's more, it is 38.1% above the June 2012 estimate of 360,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in June was $249,700. The average sales price was $295,000.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 161,000. This represents a supply of 3.9 months at the current sales rate.
Meanwhile, developers cannot build new homes fast enough to keep up with demand in some parts of the country. Many of them are selling new homes before they are even started.
According to a recent Bloomberg News report, almost 36% of all new homes sold in May were not yet under construction. The demand is causing an increase in pricing for construction materials, including cement and lumber.
Of the 45,000 new houses sold in May, 16,000 had not yet been started, according to the report, citing Commerce Department data. The share of yet-to-be-built dwellings was up from 26% in May 2012 and from a recession low of 14% in September 2008, the report states.
Starts on single-family homes are anticipated to increase about 25% this year, about the same as last year, according to the report. That means builders will break ground on 150,000 more houses this year than they did in 2012.
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