New-home sales climb in May

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased in May to a more than seven-year high, brightening the outlook for the housing market and industries that look to see housing sales — such as boating.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales rose 2.2 percent, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000 units, the highest level since February of 2008. April’s sales pace was revised up to 534,000 units from a previously reported 517,000.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that new-home sales, which account for 9.3 percent of the market, would rise to a 525,000-unit pace last month.

The report came on the heels of a report Monday that showed home resales surged to a 5-1/2-year high in May. Data last week showed that building permits were near an eight-year peak in May; homebuilders were the most optimistic in nine months in June.

The new-home sales report added to strong retail sales, consumer sentiment and employment data in suggesting that the economy was gaining speed in the second quarter after output slumped at the start of the year.

Housing is being buoyed by a strengthening job market and steps by the government to ease lending conditions for first-time buyers through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance companies it controls. Young adults who are setting up their own households also are lending support.

New-home sales surged 87.5 percent in the Northeast, the largest increase since July 2012. Sales increased 13.1 percent in the West, the biggest gain in nine months. Sales fell 4.3 percent in the South and were down 5.7 percent in the Midwest.

The stock of new houses for sale was unchanged, at 206,000, last month. Supply remains less than half of what it was at the height of the housing boom, which is good news for homebuilders who will need to ramp up construction.

At May’s sales pace it would take 4.5 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, down from 4.6 months in April.

Related

Windy Boats to Make U.S. Debut with Nautical Ventures

The Florida firm said the Scandinavian brand will complement its other European boat lines.

Beneteau America Names New President

Don Smith joined the French builder in 2018 as outboard sales manager.

Supply and Demand

Facing unprecedented demand, Brunswick plans to reopen its Palm Coast, Fla., plant and expand operations in Mexico and Portugal.

EPropulsion Announces 2021 Lineup

Its electric propulsion offerings now feature hydrogeneration capabilities, 48-volt architecture and more.

Yamaha Updates Midrange Outboards

The F250 and F300 now share features from Yamaha’s 425XTO engine, such as Digital Electric Steering and Thrust Enhancing Reverse Exhaust.

Quick Hits: January 25, 2021

Inmarsat marks significant installation milestone on its Fleet Xpress system and the NMEA announce virtual marine electronics installer training classes for next month.

Yanmar Names Power Solutions Division Manager

Carl J. Micu will oversee sales and the development of long-term growth plans.

Lippert Components Rebrands

The company’s core line of marine, RV and commercial products, including Lewmar and Taylor Made, will be branded as Lippert.