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West Drives Down U.S. New Home Sales

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New home sales declined last month even though volume was only down in the West. But experts still see strength in the market.

The sale of new residential home came to 64,000 housing units during April, according to data jointly reported Wednesday by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

From Jan. 1, 2018, through the end of last month, historical data indicate that new U.S. home sales amounted to 231,000 units.

Applying seasonal adjustments, the annual rate of new home sales was 662,000 in April 2018. The rate fell 2 percent from the downwardly revised rate one month previous but jumped 12 percent from the upwardly revised level one year previous.

National Association of Home Builders Chairman Randy Noel noted in a statement that despite the dip,
new home sales continue to trend up and reflect builders’ overall confidence in the market.

“Builders are optimistic that more prospective buyers will enter the market in the months ahead,” Noel said.

Also commenting on sales was
LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze.

“The Census Bureau notes in the release that ‘it takes 6 months to establish a trend for new houses sold’ as they are among the most volatile and revision prone economic data series,” Kapfidze said in a written statement. “At LendingTree we prefer the 3-month average to balance timeliness with information value. The 3-month average of 664,000 is at the highest level since the financial crisis and encouraging for further growth.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales in the West was 176,000, falling 8 percent from March — the only region with a decline.

The Midwest was unchanged at a 91,000 rate.

An 0.3 percent rise left the rate in the South at 355,000, while the rate jumped 11 percent to 40,000 in the Northeast.

The report indicated a seasonally adjusted 300,000 U.S. homes were for sale at the end of last month. The came to a 5.4-month supply.

The median sales price was $312,000, and the average price was $407,300.

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