Friday, April 24, 2009

US Home Sales Drop In March; Inventories Plummet

Source : The Business Times, April 24, 2009

WASHINGTON - Sales of newly built US single-family homes dropped 0.6 per cent in March, but the stock of homes for sale at the end of the month still plummeted at a record pace, Commerce Department data showed on Friday.

The inventory of new homes shrank in March, to 311,000 from 328,000 in February. That left the supply of homes available for sale at 10.7 months' worth, compared to February's 11.2 months.

The Commerce Department said that the monthly change in inventories, of 5.2 per cent, was the largest drop in more than 45 years and the year-on-year plunge of 33.7 per cent was the largest on record.

February sales were much stronger than originally thought, with the report showing they rose 8.2 per cent, compared to the 4.7 per cent gain previously reported.

The March drop brought home sales to a 356,000 annual pace.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast sales at 340,000.

The median sales price for a new home fell to US$201,400 from US$208,700 in February. The average price, however, rose slightly to US$258,000 from US$255,100. -- REUTERS

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