“However, the figure was still the second-highest sales pace since March 2021,” he noted. “Consistent with recent data on existing home sales, we believe many buyers may have rushed to make their purchases around the turn of the year to get ahead of expected increases in mortgage rates.”

At the end of January, the median sales price of new homes sold was $423,300, and the average sales price was $496,900. The for-sale inventory of new houses was 406,000, representing a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate.

“The month’s supply of homes for sale rose five-tenths to 6.1, though this was driven almost entirely by a 10.4% increase in the number of homes for sale but not started,” Duncan said. “The story is similar for new homes sold, as the number of homes sold but not started jumped 30.2%, while houses sold that are under construction and completed each pulled back. Together, these point to homebuilders still struggling to keep up with construction orders.”

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Duncan said the report points to a likely modest downward revision to their near-term new sales forecast.