Friday, April 27, 2012

Good, Bad Reflected in New-Home Sales Data

Sales of new single-family homes dropped to their lowest level in March since November 2011, but analysts say there were glimmers of hope behind the Census Department’s data released Tuesday, which showed a much stronger winter selling-season than originally reported. New-home sales were at a 328,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in March, a drop of 7.1 percent compared to February. Still, new-home sales were up 7.5 percent in March compared to a year earlier. The Census Department also on Tuesday announced that it had revised its figures for the three months prior, showing new-home sales were much better during that time than originally thought. The government originally reported that new homes sold in February at an annual rate of 313,000. That figure was revised to 353,000, which marked new-home sales strongest pace since April 2010. New-home sales increased 7.3 percent in February from January. Originally, the government had reported new-home sales had fallen in that period 1.6 percent. The Census Department also revised new-home sales in December and January to higher numbers. Source: “New Home Sales Down 7.1% in March, but February Totals Revised,” The Los Angeles Times (April 24, 2012)

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