New Home Sales Post Modest Improvement From Record Low, Houses For Sale At Lowest Since August 1967
According to the census department, new home sales printed at 300,000 in March (annualized; actual number sold was a whopping 29,000, of which 59% were not even built yet), a modest beat of expectations of 280,000. The February number was revised from 250K to 270K. Therefore this was a 11.1% increase from what were virtually record lows. Refuting the better than expected headline, the underlying data was not too pretty: "The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2011 was $213,800; the average sales price was $246,800. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 183,000. This represents a supply of 7.3 months at the current sales rate" compared to 8.2 months in February. Additionally there was 1,000 or less house sold between $400,000 and $499.999, 1,000 or less houses sold between $500,000 and $749,000 and (Z) or less than 500 units sold under $750,000. And the kicker: the number of houses for sale at the end of March, 182,000 was the lowest since 1967. Welcome to the (recoveryless) recovery.