Sales of new-single family houses fell in November from October due in part to affordability issues. The Census Bureau reports that New Home Sales fell 11% in November from October to an annual rate of 841,000 units. That is below the 990,000 expected. Sales were up nearly 21% from November 2019 (696,000). The median sales price of new houses sold in November was $335,300 while the average sales price was $319,100. Inventories remain low at a 4.1 month supply.
Mortgage rates remained at record lows in the latest week and continue to buoy the housing sector. The MBA reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was steady at 2.86% from 2.85% with 0.33 in points in the week ending December 18, 2020. The MBA went on to report that the Market Composite Index rose 0.8%, the Purchase Index declined by 4.8% while the Refinance Index gained 3.8%. The MBA's Joel Kan said, "There are still signs of relative strength in the housing market as 2020 ends. However, housing affordability will be worth monitoring next year."