New home sales drop 7.1%
Fewer Americans acquired new homes in March compared to February, dampening optimism that the housing market could see a material turnaround this year. Still, numbers are improved from a year ago.
The Commerce Department recorded 328,000 new single-family home sales in March, down 7.1% from the revised February estimate of 353,000 home sales.
The 7.1% home value drop is steeper than the 1.6% drop in new home sales experienced in February and the 5.4% decline recorded back in January. But it is up 7.5% from March of 2011, suggesting improvement from last year.
The median sales price of new homes sold in March hit $234,500, with the average sales price hovering at $291,000, the Commerce Department said.
By the end of March, the seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes up for sale hit 144,000, which equals a 5.3-month supply at the current rate.