The National Association of House Builders recently released their monthly Housing Market Index for July. It registered a national reading of 53 which is the first time since January that builder confidence has risen above 50.
This shows more than half of builders reported good sales conditions. When the figures are broken down regionally, then the most significant increase was seen in the West where the reading increased from 53 to 59, and in the Midwest where it increased from 47 to 53. An article in Builder looked at these figures more closely, combined with Metrostudy data collected for new home closings for the year ending in July.
The northeast part of the country including the mid-Atlantic and New England saw positive increases in the HMI values as figures were up 3 from June and were the highest since January. In spite of this the region is still struggling to recover from a poor winter selling season. Out of a total of 222,177 closings recorded to the year ending in July 2014, 7,977 were for new homes. The median price for a new home closing was $343,777.78, or $164.40 per square foot. The average household age was 46 and had between one and two children, and 64% of new home buyers were married.
In the West high demand was matched with high prices in the top-performing markets. The West had a much better winter selling season overall which resulted in a July HMI value of 59. There were 569,900 closings, and there were 39,693 new home closings. The median closing price was $316,007.69 or $176.08 per square foot. In this region 63% of buyers were married and the average household age was 42.6. The average household had between 1-2 children.
In the Midwest and South the HMI value was 53 for July and these were some of the most affordable regions in the country with the lowest prices per square foot and lowest median closing prices. There were 15,134 new homes sold in the Midwest, and a total of 421,745 closings for the year. The median closing price was $272,190.91, or $144.09 per square foot. The average age was 42, and buyers had between 1-2 children and 67% were married.
In the South the total number of closings was 963,189 and 87,833 were for new homes. The median new home closing price was $275,035.29, or $143.47 per square foot. The average household age was just 40.2 years, with between 1-2 children. Just 56% of new home buyers were married.