New Home Sales Drop 7.1%

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The US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the US Census Bureau released the March data on new home sales this morning. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales fell by -7.1% to 328,000, well below the estimated February number of 353,000. The March 2012 rate is 7.5% higher than the March 2011 rate, based on estimated sales of 305,000.

Earlier this morning the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes for its 10- and 20-city January composites fell -3.9% and 3.8% respectively (more coverage here). The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) also reported this morning that US house prices rose 0.4% for the 12-month period ending in February, the first 12-month house price increase since the July 2006-July 2007 period. The FHFA also lowered its estimate of January prices to reflect a decrease of -0.5%.

According to the Census Bureau, the median price of a new house in March was $234,500, and the average price was $291,200. There were 144,000 new houses for sale at the end of March, a 5.3-month supply at current sales rates.

The report is available here.