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Homebuilders just saw the strongest June sales since the last housing boom, as pandemic pushes more buyers to the suburbs
A construction worker wearing a protective mask moves bricks to the back of a house as they resume construction on a home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, May 7, 2020.
Emily Elconin | Bloomberg via Getty Images
It is the perfect storm for the nation’s homebuilders. A sharp decline in the supply of existing homes for sale, increasing consumer preference for brand-new, high-tech homes with all the amenities for working and schooling, as well as an accelerating flight to the suburbs and exurbs made for remarkable housing demand in June.
While the official government count isn’t out until the end of the month, sales of newly built homes jumped 55% annually in June, according to a monthly survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, which has historically mirrored the U.S. Census report. It was the largest annual gain since homebuilding began again following the epic housing crash a decade ago.
It is also the highest pace of sales growth since the height of the unprecedented housing boom in 2005. That expansion was driven by negligent lending in the subprime mortgage market. This boom appears to be driven by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Sales in the distant commuter areas are the most robust,” said John Burns, founder and CEO of JBRC. “I believe a lot of computer-oriented people have proven to their co-workers that they can be productive from home, and have sensed, or officially been given the green light, to work from home at least a significant portion of t