April 25, 2012 (Chris Moore)
Monthly sales of new single-family homes fell in March but still remained above last year’s pace while a huge revision in February’s figures turned a modest decline for that month into a healthy gain according to the latest housing data released by the Census Bureau.
Sales of new single-family homes declined 7.1 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted rate of 328,000, down from a revised rate of 353,000 in February. The seasonally adjusted rate in February was revised upward from 313,000, turning the previous month’s 1.6 percent decline into an 11.0 percent gain.
The rate of sales in March was 7.5 percent higher than the estimated sales rate of 305,000 units in March of 2011.
The median sales price of the new homes sold in March was $234,500, which was down from a revised $236,900 in February. The average sales price for a new home in March was $291,200, up from a revised $269,700 in February.
Sixty-seven percent of the new single-family homes sold in March were under $300,000, down from 75 percent in February.
In March of last year, the median sales price of a new home was 6.0 percent lower at $220,500, while the average sales price was 10.4 percent lower at $260,800.
Two of the four regions posted increases in seasonally adjusted monthly sales with the Northeast and the South posting gains of 7.7 and 3.1 percent, respectively, while the West and the Midwest posted declines of 27.0 and 20.0 percent, respectively.
Similarly, compared to a year ago, the Northeast and the South posted gains of 12.0 and 16.4 percent, respectively, while the West and the Midwest posted declines of 7.1 and 7.7 percent, respectively.
Inventory of new single-family homes remained relatively balanced by historical standards with a seasonally adjusted 144,000 homes available for sale, which translates into a 5.3 months supply of inventory.
Tags: Census Bureau, new home sales, single-family homes, median sales price, average sales price