WASHINGTON—Sales of newly built, single-family homes dropped 9.2% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 494,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“After an unusually high December reading, some pullback is to be expected,” said Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill. “On the positive side, builders are adding inventory in anticipation of future business.”
“Consumers are exhibiting caution in the face of some uncertain market conditions,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The average of the December-January reports shows that housing is moving forward at a modest pace, buoyed by relatively low interest rates and ongoing job creation.”
The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 238,000 in January, which is a 5.8-month supply at the current sales pace and the highest level since October 2009.
Regionally, new home sales rose 3.4% in the Northeast and 1.8% in the South. Sales dropped 5.9% in the Midwest and 32.1% in the West.