U.S. homebuilders wrestle with affordability headwinds

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WASHINGTON, July 24 (Xinhua) — U.S. home-builders continued to wrestle with affordability headwinds even though demand for new homes remained solid, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said on Wednesday.

Data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as the U.S. Census Bureau show that the sales of newly-built and single-family homes rose 7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000 units in June.

“Though there is a clear demand for new homes, builders continue to wrestle with affordability headwinds, including shortages of buildable lots and skilled labor, that are constraining sales,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the NAHB.

The median sales price, which represents the value separating the higher half from the lower half of a data sample, was 310,400 U.S. dollars in June. The figure was close to the median price from a year earlier, which was 310,500 dollars, according to the official data.

“The June figures are in line with our forecast predicting a modest 3.5 percent growth in new home sales for 2019, due largely to affordability concerns,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, NAHB’s assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis.

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