Demand for New Homes Keeps Heading Higher

New-home sales continue to stair-step their way higher with September purchases climbing 5.7% after falling 1.3% in August.

The Census Bureau reported Wednesday that new-home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 units in September, the highest reading since April 2010 when sales spiked 10% from March but then plummeted 33% in May.

This past summer sales fell into a pattern where purchases declined slightly one month then rose the next, only to fall again. But this fall the trend is definitely up. New-home sales rose 27% compared to September 2011.

Builders sold 285,000 newly constructed homes during the first nine months of the year, compared to 234,000 during the same period in 2011.

Meanwhile, housing inventory is down. There is currently a 4.5-month supply of new homes on the market, down from a 6.3-month supply a year ago.

Earlier this month, the Census Bureau reported a spike in housing starts with builders breaking ground on the highest number of single-family units since August 2008.