Trillions - - From the Publisher -

Sales of new homes in the U.S. de­clined in March for the third straight month this year.

A Com­merce De­part­ment re­port showed that to­tal sales de­creased by 1.5% to a 511,000 an­nu­al­ized pace. In western states the de­mand for new homes de­clined by 23.6% but was up by 18.5% in the Mid­west.

There were more than 246,000 new houses on the mar­ket at the end of March, which is the most since Septem­ber 2009. The me­dian price of new homes fell by 1.8% to $288,000.

New home sales com­prise only 10% of the to­tal hous­ing mar­ket but are an im­por­tant eco­nomic in­di­ca­tor.

The mar­ket for pre­vi­ously owned homes rose 5.1% in March to a 5.33 mil­lion an­nu­al­ized rate, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­al­tors.

The me­dian ex­ist­ing-home price for all hous­ing types in March was $222,700, up 5.7% from the March 2015 level of $210,700. March’s price in­crease marks the 49th con­sec­u­tive month of yearover-year gains.

Home sales con­tinue to ben­e­fit from low in­ter­est rates. Rates in March rose slightly from 3.66% to 3.69%, ac­cord­ing to Fred­die Mac.

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