May 24, 2012 (Chris Moore)
Monthly sales of new single-family homes improved in April, gaining back about half of what they lost the previous month, but a low supply of new homes did nothing to improve prices as they remained flat from both the previous month and the previous year according to the latest housing data released by the Census Bureau.
Sales of new single-family homes increased 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted rate of 343,000, up from a revised rate of 332,000 in March. The seasonally adjusted rate in March was revised upward from 328,000, helping to improve March’s previously reported 7.1 percent decline to a 5.9 percent decline.
The rate of sales in April was 9.9 percent higher than the estimated sales rate of 312,000 units in April of 2011.
The median sales price of the new homes sold in April was $235,700, which was up from a revised $234,000 in March. The average sales price for a new home in April was $282,600, down from a revised $285,800 in March.
Sixty-nine percent of the new single-family homes sold in April were under $300,000, up from 67 percent in March.
In April of last year, the median sales price of a new home was 4.7 percent lower at $224,700, while the average sales price was 4.8 percent lower at $268,900.
Three of the four regions posted increases in seasonally adjusted monthly sales with the Midwest and the West posting large gains of 28.2 and 27.5 percent while the Northeast posted a more moderate increase of 7.7 percent. The South posted the only decline of 10.6 percent.
Compared to a year ago, all four of the regions showed improvement with the Midwest posting the largest increase of 22.0 percent followed by the Northeast at 16.7 percent while the West and the South reported increases of 12.8 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.
Inventory of new single-family homes remained relatively balanced by historical standards with a seasonally adjusted 146,000 homes available for sale, which translates into a 5.1 months supply of inventory.
Tags: Census Bureau, new home sales, single-family homes, median sales price, average sales price