May new home sales fall 2.1%
Sales of new single-family homes fell 2.1% in May to 319,000 units from a revised figure of 326,000 units the previous month. The May rate is 13.5% above 281,000 a year earlier, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development concluded in their latest report. New homes sales rose the two prior months after reaching the lowest level ever in February. Analysts with Econoday said May sales figures are not as bad as previously forecasted, adding "supply in terms of months dipped slightly to 6.2 months from 6.3 in April and 6.9 in March." A survey by Econoday produced a consensus estimate of 305,000 new homes sales for May with a range of estimates from 288,000 to 345,000. "Bumping along the very bottom is a good description for the new home sales market and for the residential market in general, which, of course, is bad news for homebuilders, construction workers and Realtors but may be good news for bargain-hunting buyers who are creditworthy or cash rich," Econoday analysts said Thursday. Econoday reported a positive development when it comes to home prices, concluding that "low supply is a plus for prices which may be firming up." Its analysts said the median home price is now up 2.6%, reaching a level of $222,600. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.