April 25, 2011 (Jeff Alan)
Sales of new single family residential homes jumped in March according to the latest report released jointly by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Data from the report shows that new single family homes sold at a seasonally adjusted rate of 300,000, which is an increase of 11.1 percent from February’s revised total of 270,000.
However, sales remain far below March of 2010 when an estimated 384,000 new single family homes were sold.
Home builders have been suffering record low new home sales as the price gap between existing homes, pressured by the flow of distressed properties hitting the market, and new homes has widened, weakening demand for new homes.
Unfortunately, home prices continued to slump as the median sales price of a new home sold in March was $213,000, while the average sales price was $246,000. In February the median sales prices was slightly lower at $207,700, however, the average sales price was higher at $256,600. In March of 2010, the median price was $224,800 and the average price was $262,900.
The largest gains in sales were seen in the Northeast where 30,000 sales were recorded in March compared to 18,000 sales in February, a 67 percent gain in sales. However, the low sales in February are attributed to the severe winter weather that the region experienced during the month.
All four regions experienced sales increases from February to March with the exception of the South, which had a slight decrease from 163,000 new home sales in February to 162,000 in March.
New home inventory continued to be at record lows not seen in over 40 years, as only a seasonally adjusted estimated 182,000 new homes were for sale at the end of March, virtually unchanged from February and 45,000 less than a year ago. At current sales rates, that represents a 7.3 month supply of new homes.
Tags: single family homes, new homes, HUD, Census Bureau, home builders, median price, average home price, home inventory, distressed properties