(Updated with additional information and stock prices.)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sales of newly built homes were flat in August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 288,000, the Commerce Department said Friday morning. The figure came in below expectations for a rate of 291,000 after an all-time low rate rate of 276,000 in July.
July's results were originally reported at a sales pace of 276,000, the worst on record until Friday's adjustment to 288,000. May's new-home sales pace of 282,000 was the slowest pace on record.
While the date came in below expectations and activity in the still-struggling housing market remains muted, it does point to some sense of stabilization.The report came a day after the National Association of Realtors showed existing-home sales rebounded 7.6% in August to a better-than-expected seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.13 million units. August's new-home sales rate represented an 11% decline from year-earlier results. The median sales price for new houses sold in August fell 0.6% to $204,000, the report said, the lowest since December 2003, while the average selling price was $248,000. The median price was 1.2% lower than year-earlier results. There were 206,000 new homes for sale at the end of August. Inventory fell 1.4% to the lowest level since August 1968. It would take 8.6 months to work through current inventory at the current sales pace. Stocks in the homebuilder sector were mostly higher in trading on Friday morning, on a broadly bullish day for the market with U.S. equities looking to close the week with their fourth-consecutive weekly gain. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB), an exchange-traded fund that tracks the homebuilder sector, gained 2.8%. The iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction (ITB) rose 2.9%. NVR (NVR) added 1.5%, D.R. Horton (DHI) 3.6%, PulteGroup (PHM) 4.3% and Toll Brothers (TOL) 3.2%. Lennar (LEN) added 4.2%. Lennar said Monday it returned to year-over-year profitability, beating quarterly expectations on higher revenue and a greater number of home deliveries. >>Lennar Beats on Return to Profitability
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV