New homes sales in March were down 14.5 percent from sales in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000. The New Residential Sales report issued today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development February revised February sales numbers to 449,000 from the original report of 411,000. March 2014 sales were 13.3 percent lower than the estimated 443,000 new home sales in March 2013.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis an estimated 36,000 new homes were sold in March compared to 37,000 in February and 41,000 in March 2013.
Sales in all four regions were also lower than a year earlier and only the Northeast saw an improvement on a monthly basis, with sales rising 12.5 percent from February. Annual sales fell 22.9 percent in that region. Sales in the Midwest were down 21.5 percent from February and 17.7 percent compared to a year earlier. In the South sales fell 14.4 percent for the month and 3.8 percent on an annual basis, and in the West new home sales decreased 16.7 percent and 27.9 percent for the two periods respectively.
An estimated 193,000 new homes were available for sale at the end of March, a 6.0 month supply. In February the 187,000 homes in the inventory constituted a 5.0 month supply at the then current rate of sales. Inventories have hovered in the 189,000 range since the beginning of the year but have improved from a year earlier when 154,000 homes were available for sale, a 4.2 month supply.
The median price of a home sold in March reached a record $290,000. The and the average price was $334,200. In March 2013 the median was $257,500 and the average was $300,200.