At an estimated 544,000, new-home sales nosedived in October, down 8.9 percent from September and 12 percent from the prior year, according to the Commerce Department. There were 336,000 for-sale homes in October, representing 7.4-months’ supply, with a median price of $309,700.
“The steep decline in October new-home sales was an unpleasant surprise for a market that was expecting at least a modest rebound from an ugly September,” said Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, in a statement. “As it turns out, September wasn’t as ugly as initially reported with the benefit of backward revisions, and October was much weaker.
“As we close in on the end of 2018, it is abundantly clear with the benefit of hindsight that the new-home sales market took a turn this year, and not for the better,” Terrazas said. “Since the end of 2017, new-home sales volumes have endured their longest slide since 2010, when the market was still very much in the grips of the recession. For a time in 2017, it looked as though the new-home sales market was going to bust through the 700,000 annual sales barrier and maybe on toward the million-plus sales level reached during the height of the boom. Instead, new-home sales look set to bump around between the 500,000 and 600,000 annual sales volume at which they’ve been stuck for several years.”
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