New Home Sales Slide in March But Make Big Gains Compared to March 2015
New home sales slightly dipped 1.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 511,000, according to a joint release of New Residential Sales data by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Monday morning. This decline follows a upward revision of the February rate but is still 5.4% above the result in March 2015, when the estimate was 485,000.
By region, home shoppers in the South were the most active in March, as more than 60%, or 314,000, of the total sales were made in this region. Month-over-month, new residential sales in the Midwest posted the largest growth (18.5%) among all regions, followed by the South (5.0%). The Northeast region remained unchanged from last month, whereas the West saw sales drop by -23.16%. Year-over-year, the Northeast snagged the most growth in sales, with 30% more new homes closed this March compared to the year prior.
New homes priced between $200,000 and $299,999 are by far the most popular segment in the market, as 37% of the total homes closed in March fell in that price range. Close behind are homes priced between $300,000 and $399,999, accounting for 17% of total sales.
As shown in the interactive above, there has been a shift of focus from homes on the two extremes to medium-priced new homes. From 2003 to 2006, the $200,000-299,000 range has seen sales climb by over 22%. In the mean time, homes priced over $750,000 post less progress (unsurprisingly), while homes under $199,999 posted noticeable declines, which might be a signal of worsening home affordability issues.
Read the full release from the Census Bureau here >>