April sees increase in new single-family home sales

May 23, 2012 02:00PM

Sales of new single-family homes rose 3.3 percent month-over-month in April 2012 and 9.9 percent year-over-year, according to a release issued by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. April saw new home sales at a seasonally adjusted rate of 343,000 units.

“Today’s report is representative of the kind of modest but consistent gains that we expect to see in new-home sales through the remainder of 2012,” said David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, in a separate release. “As indicated by our most recent builder surveys, more consumers are taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates amidst firming economic and job market conditions in certain areas.”

Regionally, news was good for the Midwest and West, which saw respective 28.2 percent and 27.5 percent month-over-month increases of new home sales. The Northeast had a 7.7 percent month-over-month increase. The South was the only region to post a decline as sales sunk 10.6 percent from March 2012.

The inventory of new homes for sale nationwide came in at 146,000 units for April, which the NAHB said is a “virtually unchanged” amount and a “historically slim” 5.1-month supply at the current pace of sales.

As The Real Deal reported yesterday, sales and closing prices of existing U.S. homes also rose last month, indicating an improving recovery.

“In markets where demand is rising,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, “we could be seeing a faster pace of recovery if not for persistently tight lending conditions that are slowing both the building and buying of new homes.”

The median sales prices of new houses sold in April 2012 was $235,700. — Zachary Kussin