After charging ahead 12.5 percent in April, the Commerce Department reported this morning that new home sales drifted downward in April by 1.6 percent to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 915,000 units. That rate is 15.9 percent below year-ago sales volume, for those who prefer to follow year-ago comparisons. From the Associated Press:
The slump in sales affected most parts of the country. Sales were down 7.3 percent in the South, where half of new homes are sold, and fell an even larger 11 percent in the Northeast. Sales were also off in the West by 1.9 percent. The only region of the country that saw an increase was the Midwest, where sales jumped by 30.8 percent.
(Of course, keep in mind the media's definition of "down" is defined here in month-to-month comparisons.) Also of note, the median price of a new home also fell, dropping nearly 1 percent from year-ago levels to $236,100. And -- not surprisingly, given the slowdown in selling -- inventory crept upward to 7.1 months, according to the Commerce Department. It had fallen to 7.0 months in April from a high of 8.3 months in March.