Sales of new homes last month shot up to the highest levels in 14 years and prices declined by record percentages, a government report states.
Sales of new homes last month shot up to the highest levels
in 14 years and prices declined by record percentages as homebuilders continue
to cut prices to move an inventory of unsold homes that currently stands at
over a half-year’s supply.
The government report released today said new single-family
home sales rose 16 percent in April to annual rate of 981,000, the sharpest
climb since 2002.
Sales in the South recorded the largest gain of 28 percent,
with the West up 8 percent and the Northeast up 4 percent. Sales in the Midwest
were down 4 percent.
However, the median sales price of a new home in April fell
$28,500 to $229,100. That’s the biggest monthly drop on record and largest
year-over-year drop since 1970.
The increase in sales did put a dent in unsold inventory. In
March, the department said it would take homebuilders eight months to sell the
industry’s stock of unsold new homes. Last month, the figure did fall for the
first time this year, but still stood at six and a half months.
A closer look at the sales numbers also indicates that
homebuilders may have to continue cutting prices and offering other incentives
to move their properties. Sales in April were still down 11 percent compared to
April 2006. For the first four months of this year, sales were 20 percent less
than the same period of time last year.
Today’s data on new home sales represents only a small
portion of the country’s home-buying demands. Tomorrow, the National
Association of Realtors will report on the pace of existing home sales, which
represents 85 percent of the housing market.