New home inventory is approaching bull market territory.
According to the Census Bureau, the number of new homes sold rose 2 percent in November. On a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis, home buyers bought 315,000 newly-built homes last month.
November’s New Home Sales data marks the 4th straight month of rising sales volume, lifting the housing-market metric to a 7-month high, and adding to the housing market’s recent show of strength.
Last week, we learned that Existing Home Sales also climbed in November.
The big story in the New Home Sales report, though, is the remaining new home supply nationwide.
With just 158,000 homes “on the market” and the pace of home sales hastening, the complete, national inventory of “new homes” would now be sold in just 6.0 months, a 0.2-month improvement from October. This is the quickest home sales pace in nearly 6 years for the new construction market.
It’s even faster than in April 2010 — the buyer-deadline month of last year’s federal home buyer tax credit.
Home builders expect the trend to continue, too. Buyer foot traffic is on the rise and builders have a strong outlook for the next 6 months.
It’s an unsettling series of developments for today’s Seattle home buyers. As home supplies drop and builders gain confidence, the ability of an buyer to negotiate for price reduction and/or upgrades shrinks.
If you’re a home buyer in search of new construction, therefore, consider that the best new construction “deals” of the next 12 months may be the ones you find today.