If you've been hoping to buy a pristine, newly built home, but are hesitating over the price, you may want to take the plunge now.
The median price of a new-construction home continued its slide, hitting $302,100 in June, according to a joint report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That's the lowest it's been since February 2017, when the median was $298,000.
"It's just a couple of months of price declines, so I don't want to read too much into it," says Chief Economist Danielle Hale of realtor.com®. The median price has been declining each month since it peaked in March, at $335,400. "But a shift toward lower prices could indicate a shift toward more affordable construction to come."
That's promising news for buyers who have been growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of homes on the market, along with high prices and rising mortgage rates. In fact, the price gap between existing homes (which have previously been lived in) and new homes, which are typically more expensive, has been closing in recent months.
Existing homes cost a median $276,900 in June, according to the most recent National Association of Realtors® report. That's a new all-time high, but is still 9.1% less than the median price tag of a newly constructed abode.
Meanwhile, the number of new homes sold and for sale, 631,000, was down 5.3% from May, according to the report. However, it was up 2.4% from June 2017. (Realtor.com looked only at the seasonally adjusted numbers in the report.)
The Northeast was the only region that saw a surge in new homes being sold and hitting the market in June. It was up 26.8% from the previous month and 20.9% from the the previous year.
The West experienced a 5.2% monthly drop and a 15% annual plunge in the number of new homes sold and for sale. It was followed by the South, where it was down 7.7% from May, but up 8.1% from June 2017. In the Midwest, it plummeted 13.4% month over month, but the number of homes sold and for sale rose 7.6% year over year.
The biggest takeaway from this month's report were the lower prices.
"Entry-level buyers might see some relief on the horizon," says Hale. "We're not talking a huge change in the market where buyers overnight will find the [housing] market is now easy. But it should be easier."