New home sales in the US halted in October, staying near the best pace since 2006 and well above pre-pandemic levels. This is the latest sign that record-low mortgage rates are propping up robust buyer interest.
New single-family home purchases fell 0.3% from September to 999,000 on an annualized basis, after an upward revision of 1.002 million, government data showed on Wednesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg poll of economists was 975,000. The median retail price increased 2.5% year over year to $ 330,600.
The recent momentum in home construction has been driven by attractive mortgage rates and buyers looking for more space when they work from home. Purchases could face stronger headwinds, however, after infections began to surge in the US in recent weeks and new restrictions threatened to curb hiring.
The number of properties sold that have not yet begun construction rose to a new 14-year high of 385,000 in October, suggesting that construction strength will continue in the months ahead.
The supply of new houses remained the tightest in its history. At the current rate of sales, it would take 3.3 months to exhaust supplies, just like last month and the lowest amount of data in more than half a century.
The number of properties for sale remained unchanged at 278,000, the lowest since 2017.