New-home sales are back. After a few months of drops in the number of buyers scooping up these abodes with that fresh, never-been-lived-in smell, sales are once again surging.

That’s good news for buyers looking for a home of their very own at a time when there just aren’t enough properties on the market. There were 9% fewer homes on the market in September compared with a year ago, according to data.

Part of the bump may be due to buyers in areas ravaged by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma getting back into the market. It may be that their homes were damaged and they were able to get into new ones. Or, perhaps, these buyers waited until the storms passed and then assessed the damage before going ahead with the purchases.

The number of sales jumped in the South, rising 25.8% month over month and 23.1% year over year.

But the biggest increases were in the Northeast, with the number of new-home closings rocketing 33.3% over August and a whopping 54.8% over the previous year.

In the Midwest, monthly sales rose 10.6%, but they tumbled 2.7% annually. Monthly sales were up 2.9% in the West and increased 4.4% from September 2016.

That’s why only about 13% of the new homes sold were under $199,999—despite the high demand for more affordable abodes. The bulk, about 56%, were in the $200,000 to $399,999 range. About 12% cost between $400,000 and $499,999, and 19% were a cool half-million and above.


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