The seasonally adjusted pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. ticked up a percent and a half last month and was 2 percent higher than at the same time last year but nearly 15 percent lower than in January of 2020, prior to the pandemic having hit.

At the same time, while the median sale price of the new homes sold last month ($420,700) ticked up 2 percent, from $413,100 in December to $420,700 in January, with typical seasonality in play, the median sale price was roughly 3 percent lower than at the same time last year and over 15 percent below last year’s peak of closer to $500,000, and inventory levels, which are 40 percent higher than prior to the pandemic, ticked up another percent to within 2 percent of a 15-year high, despite continued misreporting of “supply constraints” in the press.

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