Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 490,000 units in November.
According to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, the inventory of new homes for sale was 232,000 units in November. This is a 5.7-month supply at the current sales pace.
"It is encouraging to see new-home sales continue to tick upward," said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. "Builders are also increasing their inventory even as they face difficulties accessing lots and labor."
NAHB's chief economist David Crowe agreed.
"Limited gains in new-home sales can be attributed to a weak existing sales report," he said. "People who already own a house comprise most of the new residential construction market, and they often must sell their existing home before making another purchase."
Regionally, sales rose 20.5% in the West and 4.5% in the South. Sales fell 28.6% in the Northeast and 8.6% in the Midwest.