Economic Update: New Home Sales Rise 7.3%

Sales of new single-family homes rose 7.3% in April, to an annual rate of 323,000. The rate is higher than the 303,000 expected by the consensus, but is down 23.1% from last April, when sales were boosted by the homebuyer tax rebate. The median sales prise rose 4.6% from a year earlier, to $217,900, the first increase since December.

Sales rose in all four Census regions, with the largest increase in the West. The supply of homes for sale fell 2.8% to 175,000, a 6.5-months supply at the April sales pace, down from 7.2 months in March and just slightly above the 6.2 months in April 2010.

The numbers were some of the best we have seen for housing this year, and suggest we are coming to a stable point for sales and maybe even prices. New home sales are counted when the contract is signed, and thus often lead existing home sales.


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