After a positive April, new U.S. home sales fell by 2.1 percent in May 2011, according to data released today by the Department of Commerce. Sales of new single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 319,000, still 13.5 percent more than the 281,000 rate achieved in May 2010. This month’s tally marks the third best rate of home sales recorded in the last 13 months, but continues the up-and-down trend of new home sales experienced over the last year.
The average sales price for a new home was $266,400, down $2,500 from April, and there are still 166,000 new homes on the market — a supply that would last more than six months at the current rate. The South was the lone market to show improvements over April, as home sales ticked up 2.4 percent in that region from the previous month.