New-home sales tacked on another month of gains in March, with sales of new, single-family homes up 5.8 percent to 621,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The average new-home sales price was $388,200, while the median was $315,100. New-home listing inventory was 268,000—5.2 months supply.
“There is good news and bad news in [the latest] New Residential Home Sales data release by the Bureau of the Census,” says Joseph Kirchner, senior economist at realtor.com®. “The good news is that new-home sales jumped for the third month in a row, to about the same as last year’s peak in July. Already this spring market is challenging last year’s high water mark.
“The bad news,” Kirchner says, “is that sales are increasingly concentrated at the mid- to upper-end of the price range. Sales of affordable new homes under $200,000 dropped to 12 percent from 17 percent of the market since last April. Home prices are climbing faster than incomes, and affordable and starter homes are few and far between. This is going to keep many would-be buyers on the sidelines.”
New-home sales are paralleling the path of home prices, which, as recently reported by the S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose 5.8 percent in February.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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