Sales of new homes dropped significantly in June according to information released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Sales fell 8.4 percent from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000 which was still an improvement of 15.1 percent from June 2011.  The May estimate of 382,000 was a substantial upward revision from the original estimate of 369,000 released in June.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis new home sales in June totaled 33,000 compared to 36,000 in May and 28,000 one year earlier.  There were 144,000 homes for sale at the end of June which represents a 4.9 month inventory at the present sales rate compared to 143,000 homes on the market or a 4.5 month supply at the end of May.

Much of the decrease in the national numbers was due to a dramatic downturn in the Northeast where new home sales fell 60 percent from May levels to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,000 compared to 40,000 in May and unchanged from June 2011.  Sales in the South were down 8.6 percent to a rate of 181,000 compared to 198,000 in May but this rate was still 6.5 percent higher than sales a year earlier.  Sales were up slightly in the West to 98,000 compared to 96,000 the previous month, an increase of 2.1 percent.  The annual rate of sales in June was 36.1 percent higher than during the same period in 2011.  The Midwest saw a 14.6 percent increase to an annual rate of 55,000 compared to 48,000 in May and 19.6 percent higher than the 46,000 rate in June 2011.

The median sale price of a new home sold in June was $232,600 and the average was 273,900.  The median and average prices in June 2011 were $240,200 and $273,100 respectively.