New Home Sales Dipped 1.5% In March

New home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 511,000 as of the end of March – a decrease of 1.5% compared with about 519,000 in February but an increase of 5.4% compared with about 485,000 in March 2015, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The median sales price of a new, single-family home sold in March was about $288,000; the average sales price was $356,200.

As of the end of March, there were about 246,000 new homes available for sale – about a 5.8-month supply at the current sales rate.

Looking at new home sales by region, month over month, they were up 18.5% in the Northeast, up 5.0% in the South, flat in the Northeast and down 23.6% in the West.

“Builders are slowly raising inventory, as they remain cautious about the housing recovery,” says Ed Brady, chairman of the North American Home Builders Association (NAHB), in a release.

“Though sales were flat this month, they are running modestly higher on a year-over-year basis,” adds Robert Dietz, chief economist for NAHB. “We expect the sales pace to rise through 2016, given ongoing low mortgage interest rates and healthy job creation.”

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