New single-family home sales edged slightly higher from February to March but remained well above last year’s pace according to the latest housing data released by the Census Bureau.
Monthly sales of new single-family homes increased 1.5 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted rate of 417,000, up from a revised sales rate of 411,000 in February. On an unadjusted basis, new home sales increased 21.2 percent from the previous month.
The seasonally adjusted rate of sales in March was 18.5 percent higher than the estimated sales rate of 352,000 units in March of 2012. Sales were 17.6 percent higher than in March of last year on an unadjusted basis.
The median sales price of the new homes sold in March was $247,000, which was down from a revised $264,900 in February. The average sales price for a new home in March was $279,900, down from a revised $310,000 in February.
Sixty-one percent of the new single-family homes sold in March were under $300,000, down from 68 percent in February.
In March of last year, the median sales price of a new home was 2.9 percent lower at $239,800, while the average sales price was 1.3 percent higher at $283,600.
Two of the four national regions posted increases in seasonally adjusted monthly sales led by a 20.6 percent gain in the Northeast, followed by a gain of 19.4 percent in the South.
The West reported a decline of 20.9 percent while the Midwest posted a decline in sales of 12.1 percent.
Compared to a year ago, all four of the regions showed an improvement with the West posting the largest increase of 37.5 percent followed by the Northeast at 32.3 percent.
The Midwest recorded an increase of 21.4 percent while the South posted a more modest increase of 8.0 percent.
Inventory of new single-family homes increased slightly to a seasonally adjusted 153,000 homes available for sale, which translates into a 4.4 months supply of inventory, unchanged from the previous month.
Tags: Census Bureau, new home sales, single-family homes, median sales price, average sales price
Reported by Chris Moore