New Home Sales Slide In March

The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development’s most recent New Residential Sales report covers how many new homes were sold in March. According to the data, sales fell 8.6 percent from the month before and are now 12.6 percent lower than they were last year at the same time. New home sales are an important barometer of housing market health, since they are counted when the contract to buy is signed rather than when the sale is closed. Because of this, they offer an early glimpse of where the market may be headed. However, they’re also frequently revised. For example, while this month’s report shows a significant drop from February’s rate, February sales have been updated and now show more new homes sold than was previously reported. So what does this mean? It means sales activity most likely slowed in March but we shouldn’t read too much into the severity of the decline. (source)

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