New single-family home sales increased 7.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 421,000 for August, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens a PDF) released today.
After a steep revised 14.1% drop for July, this latest report revitalizes some confidence in the housing market recovery even as mortgage rates rise. Analyst expectations proved almost exactly on the mark, having predicted a rate of 425,000.
On a regional level, Midwest sales jumped 19.6% month-to-month, followed by 15.3% gains in the South and an 8.8% improvement in the Northeast. The West was the only region to head into the red for August, with new home sales down 14.6%. In the past 12 months, national sales of new homes are up 12.6% with the Northeast and South notching gains over 27% while the Midwest saw 15% gains and the West saw a 21% decrease.
At the current rate of sales, there is an estimated 5.0 months of supply, compared with 5.2 months in July. The average price for a new home edged up $400 from July to hit $318,900, the highest value since April.