U.S. New Home Sales Show Substantial Decrease In March
A report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday showed a substantial decrease in new home sales in the U.S. in the month of March.
The Commerce Department said new home sales plunged by 15.4 percent to an annual rate of 627,000 in March after tumbling by 4.6 percent to a revised rate of 741,000 in February.
Economists had expected new home sales to nosedive by 15.7 percent to an annual rate of 645,000 in March from the 765,000 originally reported for the previous month.
With the steep drop, new home sales pulled back further off the more than twelve-year high of 777,000 set in January.
New home sales in the Northeast and West led the way lower, plummeting by 41.5 percent and 38.5 percent, respectively. Sales in the Midwest also slumped by 8.1 percent, while sales in the South dipped by 0.8 percent.
The report also said the median sales price of new houses sold in March was $321,400, down 2.6 percent from $330,100 in February but up 3.5 percent from $310,600 in the same month a year ago.
The Commerce Department said the estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 333,000, representing 6.4 months of supply at the current sales rate. The months of supply is up from 5.2 months in February.
On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report showing existing home sales pulled back sharply in the month of March.
NAR said existing home sales plunged by 8.5 percent to an annual rate of 5.27 million in March after spiking by 6.3 percent to a revised of 5.76 million in February.
Economists had expected existing home sales to plummet 8.1 percent to a rate of 5.30 million from the 5.77 million originally reported for the previous month.
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