New home sales soared in March, beating out experts’ expectations, but new homes for sale dropped, according to the report released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Sales of new single-family homes in March 2017 came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000, according to the report. This is an increase of 5.8% from February’s 587,000 and is 15.6% higher than March 2016’s 537,000 sales.
“New home sales increased to an annualized rate of 621k, well above the Street expectations of 587k,” iServe Residential Lending director of capital markets Brent Nyitray wrote in a note to his clients. “New Home Sales is a notoriously volatile number, but it looks like the spring selling season is off to a good start.”
The median sales price of new homes sold in March increased to $315,100, up from $296,200 in February.
The Case-Shiller report released Tuesday shows the market continues to see home prices rise, and prices of all homes rose to a new high in February.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of March increased slightly to 268,000, up slightly from 266,000 in February. However, with the higher rate of homes sold, this represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales rate, down from last month’s 5.4-month supply.