New home sales ticked higher in July while prices climbed to another record high, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.
Sales of new single-family homes rose 1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 708,000, rising from 701,000 in June. The median sale price for a single-family home rose to $390,500, and the average price reached $446,000 — each a new record.
“Despite a surge in home prices to record levels, new home sales eked out a small gain in July,” wrote Nancy Vanden Houten of Oxford Economics in a Tuesday analysis.
“While demand for new homes remains strong, high prices and backlogs in construction will temper sales in the months ahead,” she added.
A surge of demand for new homes unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic drove both sales and prices to staggering levels in 2020. Sales cooled off slightly this spring as prices continued to surge, but a severe lack of inventory and building supply backlogs have kept costs for new homes high.
Stocks were higher Tuesday following a broad-based rally on news that U.S. regulators granted full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid vaccine.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30.55 points, or less than 0.1%, to 35,366.26. The S&P 500 added 0.1% to a new closing high of 4,486.23. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5% to 15,019.80, also a new closing high.
Chinese stocks led the Nasdaq as investors have been getting more clarity on China’s regulatory outlook and buying shares of names that have taken a beating lately. Pinduoduo jumped 22.2% while JD.com rose 14.4%, Tencent Music Entertainment climbed 12.7% and Baidu gained 8.6%.