Sales of New Homes on the Rise

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on August 26, 2009

Last week we shared the news of the nationwide jump in sales of existing homes. This week the report on July new home sales was announced. Sales in that category are up 9.6% to an annual pace of 433,000.

This is the highest rate of sales since last September, and it is the largest percentage increase since early 2005, which was the peak of the nation’s housing boom.

The standing inventory of new homes fell to a 16-year low. That reflects both the increase in sales and the fact that builders have put the breaks on new starts.

At the current rate of sales, there is now a 7.5 month supply of new homes. This is down sharply from the beginning of the year when more than 12 month supply of homes sat on the market. A balance market is one that has between four and six month supply.

Locally, pace of new home sales is lagging behind the national trend. We are seeing a slight uptick in activity with July sales 4.4% up from a year ago. Most subdivisions are averaging a couple of sales each month, which reflects a more normal pace of sales for our market.

There is certainly a lot less new construction coming on the market. As of July 31, 2009, there were 416 new construction listings in Thurston County, down 28% from the 581 listings in July 2008.

Like the rest of the market, price is really dictating the pace of sales. Those new homes that are priced well compared to the competition, both new and existing homes, are selling well. Also, homes in the more affordable space under $300,000 continue to outperform the homes priced above that level.

The average list price of a Thurston County new construction listing is now $302,493, down $63,862 from the same time last year.

Statistics compiled by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. from the NWMLS database. Statistics not compiled or published by NWMLS.

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