March 23, 2012 (Chris Moore)
Monthly sales of new single-family homes fell for the second consecutive month in February but still remained above last year’s pace while new home prices improved from both the previous month and the previous year according to the latest housing data released by the Census Bureau.
Sales of new single-family homes declined 1.6 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 313,000, down from a revised rate of 318,000 in January. The seasonally adjusted rate in January was revised downward from 321,000.
The rate of sales in February was 11.4 percent higher than the estimated sales rate of 281,000 units in February of 2011, one of the worse months on record.
The median sales price of the new homes sold in February was $233,700, which was up from a revised $215,700 in January. The average sales price for a new home in February was $267,700, down from a revised $261,900 in January.
Seventy-five percent of the new single-family homes sold in February were under $300,000, up from 74 percent in January.
In February of last year, the median sales price of a new home was 5.8 percent lower at $220,100, while the average sales price was 1.8 percent lower at $262,800.
Two of the four regions posted increases in seasonally adjusted monthly sales with the Northeast and the West posting gains of 14.3 and 8.0 percent, respectively, while the Midwest and the South posted declines of 2.4 and 7.2 percent, respectively.
Compared to a year ago, only the South reported a decline in sales, falling 1.2 percent, while the West, the Midwest and the Northeast recorded sales gains of 32.8, 29.0 and 26.3 percent, respectively.
Inventory of new single-family homes remained relatively balanced by historical standards with a seasonally adjusted 150,000 homes available for sale, which translates into a 5.8 months supply of inventory.
Tags: Census Bureau, new home sales, single-family homes, median sales price, average sales price