April New Home Sales

Spring is in the air, and the housing data is springing into action. In an earlier blog we wrote about the uptick in existing home sales, and now new home sales scraped off ice left over from the harsh winter and progressed in April according to the Census Bureau.  April’s sales volume on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate expanded to 433,000 units, a 6.4 percent increase over March’s 407,000 units (upwardly revised from 384,000).

Prices may have helped push the number of sales higher.  The median price paid for a new home in April fell 2.1 percent and is now $275,800.  Year-over-year, the median value fell by 1.3 percent.  For the second time in three months this price measure dropped from a year earlier.  Before February of this year, annual median price changes were positive in every month since June 2012.   Also, the average price paid for a new home in America is 2.0 percent lower, dropping to $320,100 from $326,700.  Year-over-year, the average has dipped 3.1 percent.

Inventories are analyzed two ways, and these two tallies moved in opposite directions.  There are currently 191,000 new housing units for sale, an increase of 2,000 units over March’s count.  Since housing sales improved at a faster pace than the uptick in new units, the monthly supply of homes fell to 5.3 months versus 5.6 months in March.

April’s improvement in the volume of housing transactions is seen as an encouraging sign here at Atlas.  It points to the impact weather had on this marketplace and may suggest other portions of the economy suffered a similar fate during the harsh season.  Early indications about the second quarter of 2014 are not pointing to a red hot economy but suggest more mild, spring like conditions.  Perhaps the economy will heat up in the second half of the year when the mercury’s volume also expands faster.    (by C.Cox)