US new home sales down 6.9% in January
US new home sales declined after growth in December.
The US housing market struggled in January 2019. US new home sales at the start of the year dropped by almost 7% after rising in December.
January US new home sales: key figures
|Sales of new homes||-6.7%|
|Median sales price of homes||$317,000|
|New homes at annual rate||607,000|
|Sales of yet-to-be constructed homes||-26.8%|
Why did US new home sales decline?
Sales of new homes dropped 6.7% to 607,000 units sold. Sales of yet-to-be constructed homes plummeted 26.8%. Median sales prices declined to $317,200.
New home sales likely declined because of the month-long government shutdown that affected many workers' finances. Matthew Speakman, economic analyst at real estate company Zillow, noted that the harsh US winter also contributed to a housing purchase slowdown.
‘The partial federal government shutdown and the harsh winter weather that affected much of the country both weighed on economic activity,’ said Speakman.
Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors, agreed that those two factors hurt US new home sales.
‘It is hard to visit a construction site when there is snow or it is so cold you don’t want to step outside. In large parts of the nation, that is what happened. And then there was the hit to confidence that the shutdown created, which didn’t help either,’ said Naroff.
Despite the decline, there was some positive news. New home sales in Western states rose by 28% in January.
What will happen to US new home sales in the future?
While home sales plummeted in January, there is optimism about housing purchases in the future. Speakman said that warmer spring weather and declining mortgage rates should boost new home sales.
‘Our bet is that buyers will prove resilient as winter turns to spring, and throw their hats into the ring with the benefits of falling mortgage rates, falling home prices and rising inventory’, said Speakman.
See an opportunity to trade?
Go long or short on more than 16,000 markets with IG.
Spread bet and trade CFDs on our award-winning platform, with low spreads on indices, shares, commodities and more.
Live prices on most popular markets
You might be interested in…
Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.
Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of spread betting and CFDs.
Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.
This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.