New single-family home sales dip 6.8 percent in June

Shrinking inventories lead homebuilders to open the tap on permits.

Sales of new single-family houses in June 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This is 6.8 percent (±12.5%)* below the revised May rate of 517,000, but is 18.1 percent (±18.1%) above the June 2014 estimate of 408,000.

June's rate was the lowest since last November, however, existing-home sales reached their highest level since February 2007. For the year, existing home sales are on pace to hit their highest level in the last eight years.

Building permits also hit an eight-year high in June, too.

These figures show that builders are opening the spigot on new home construction but tight inventories of new homes and labor shortages are crimping the pipeline.

The median sales price of new houses sold in June 2015 was $281,800; the average sales price was $328,700. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 215,000. This represents a supply of 5.4 months at the current sales rate.