New Home Sales Continue Slide in March
US new-home sales slid to their lowest level since the 1991 recession during March, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Dept., providing the latest evidence that a bottom in troubled housing markets across the nation has yet to materialize. New single-family homes sales activity fell 8.5 percent last month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 526,000 -- a much stronger drop in sales activity than economists had been expecting, and the lowest monthly reading since October 1991. Dow Jones reported that economists had predicted a 1.9 percent drop ahead of the March data. A slight bit of good news in the report may be that new home inventories appear to now be falling, as builders continue to pare back activity. March inventory registered a seasonally-adjusted estimate of 468,000; that's 1.1 percent below February's inventory level, and nearly 15 percent below year-ago estimates. now at its highest level since 1981, and appears poised to soon break the all-time record set in April of 1980. Many market watchers had hoped the traditional spring selling season might take some of the pressure of of the nation's housing market; it appears now that the selling season boost never arrived, and sources suggested to HW that the trend portends a long summer for many of the nation's home builders.