WASHINGTON — Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 1.5% in March from an upwardly revised February reading to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 511,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Builders are slowly raising inventory as they remain cautious about the housing recovery,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill.
“Though sales were flat this month, they are running modestly higher on a year-over-year basis,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “We expect the sales pace to rise through 2016, given ongoing low mortgage interest rates and healthy job creation.”
The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 246,000 in March, which is a 5.8-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold in March was $288,000.
Regionally, new home sales rose 18.5% in the Midwest and 5% in the South. Sales were unchanged in the Northeast and fell 23.6% in the West.