US new home sales drop 14.5 percent in March
By: Joyce Chen April 23, 2014

Construction

Sales of new US homes fell 14.5 percent in March from the previous month, according to a report released by the Commerce Department today.

Newly built home sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, down 13.3 percent from 443,000 in March 2013. This marks the lowest annual pace since last July.

The median sales price of new homes sold in March 2014 was $290,000 (up 11.2 percent from February), and the average sales price was $334,200.

The seasonally adjusted estimated of new residences for sale at the end of March was 193,000, which represents a supply of six months at the current sales rate.

Three of the four regions in the report posted declines in sales, with demand in the West at the lowest level in more than two years.

“It’s the reduction in affordability, the lack of inventory, also weak growth in median household income — all these are contributing to the sluggish recovery in housing,” Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg. “It’s going to raise concerns about the strength of the housing recovery, but it’s too early to be too worried.”