Priciest properties make up record share of new-home sales

Register now

It looks like lower mortgage rates are helping lure Americans who are buying the priciest properties.

The most expensive houses — those priced at $500,000 and higher — made up a quarter of total new-home sales in August, the biggest-ever share according to Census Bureau figures that date back to 2002.

Fueled by falling mortgage rates, the pickup in demand helps explain the biggest annual jump in the average sales price since November 2017. And while the majority of purchases are for properties in the $200,000-$400,000 range, their share of all sales declined amid tight inventory.

Home prices continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace, amid record building costs for developers. Low supply is also contributing to higher asking prices. Meanwhile, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate continued to decline in August before reaching the lowest level since 2016 earlier this month.

Another reason for optimism about the housing market lies in a labor market that remains tight and is helping put more cash in the pockets of potential buyers.

Bloomberg News
Purchase Mortgage rates Home prices Housing market Census Bureau