Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 12.2 percent in 2016 to 563,000 units, the highest annual rate since 2007.
According to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. New home sales fell 10.4 percent in December 2016 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 536,000 units.
“We are encouraged by the growth in the housing sector last year, and by the fact that builders increased inventory by 10 percent in anticipation of future business,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “NAHB’s forecast calls for continued upward momentum this year, with housing starts expected to rise 10 percent over the course of 2017.”
“To ensure sales continue to move forward in 2017, builders need to price their homes competitively, especially given that mortgage interest rates are expected to rise this year,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas.
The inventory of new home sales for sale was 259,000 in December, which is a 5.8-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold was $322,500.
What does this mean for consumers?
With a current inventory of surplus of homes, new home buyers can see more competitive pricing when looking to buy a recently built house. Making 2017 the perfect year to get a new home for you and your family at an affordable price before demand catches up with supply.
The data from NAHB is also consistent with Wisconsin home value forecasts from Zillow.com where home values have been down 3.6% prior to Dec 2016 but that home values are expected to rise 3% until the end of 2017.
Many Southeast Wisconsin suburban neighborhoods and cities such as: Brookfield, Delafield, Hartford, Menomonee Falls, New Berlin, Waukesha, and other Metro Milwaukee home values are expected to rise over 4% in 2017.