March New Residential Single Family Home Sales increased 1.5%, or 417,000 annualized sales. New Single Family Housing inventory is at a 4.4 month supply. New single family home sales are now 18.5% above March 2012 levels, but this figure has a ±17.2% margin of error. A year ago new home sales were 352,000. Sales figures are annualized and represent what the yearly volume would be if just that month's rate were applied to the entire year. These figures are seasonally adjusted as well. Beware of this report for most months the change in sales is inside the statistical margin of error and will be revised significantly in the upcoming months.
New homes available for sale increased 2.0% from last month. The average home sale price was $279,900, a -10.8% drop from last month's average price of $310,000. If one thinks about it, these prices are outside the range of what most wages can afford.
March's median new home price dropped -6.8% to $247,000. Median means half of new homes were sold below this price and both the average and median sales price for single family homes is not seasonally adjusted.
Inventories had no change from last month. The current supply of new homes on the market would now take 4.4 months to sell. From a year ago housing inventory has declined -10.2% and is still inside the margin of error of ±15.1%.
Below is a graph of the months it would take to sell the new homes on the market at each month's sales rate. We can see these inventories vs. sales times did plunge, but the statistics won't show if these rates have stabilized for at least three months.
The median time a house was completed and on the market for sale to the time it sold was 5.0 months, the same as February.
The variance in monthly housing sales statistics is so large, in part, due to the actual volume declining, along with the fact this is a survey. One needs to look at least a quarter to get a real feel for new home sales, but a year of sales data is more in order. Additionally this report, due to it's huge margin of error, is almost always revised significantly the next month. Buyer beware on month to month comparisons and reacting to primarily figures and why we graph up the statistics so one can identify a real trend versus press headline buzz.
What we know for certain about new homes sales are increasing from the year ago change. We also know inventories have plunged. Finally, we also see new single family home prices becoming out of reach for most families by income again. We list the margins of error for they are usually above the monthly reported percentage changes. The Census notes that the average revision is about 5% of the original reported.
Here is our overviews of residential real estate statistics, only some graphs revised.