New Home Sales Up 11% For March
Sales of new single-family houses in March 2011 increased to 300,000, up 11.1% from the revised February rate of 270,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report. Although 2011 is picking up slowly, sales are still down 21.9% below the March 2010 estimate of 384,000.
All regions except the South saw an increase in sales. The Northeast led with the greatest increase in percentage at a 66.7% increase from February 2011 to March 2011 while the West’s sales increased 25.9% in one month. Compared to March 2010, every region decreased in sales. The highest percentage decrease was in the Midwest, declining 34% in sales for March 2011.
The estimated number of new houses for sale at the end of March was 183,000, which is the lowest in years. There is an estimated 7.3 months supply at the current sales rate, which fell 11% from 8.2 months in February 2011.
The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2011 was $213,800, down from $224,800 in March 2010. The average sales price was at $246,800 in March 2011, a huge decrease from the $262,900 average sales price for March of last year. The construction market continues to be weak in the housing sector, constrained by the growing amount of distressed homes and high unemployment rates.