March New Home Sales Down 0.6%

But that's good news: Numbers are actually better than expected
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 24, 2009 11:09 AM CDT
March New Home Sales Down 0.6%
New KB Home properties built to order are advertised at the KB Home development in Sylmar, Calif.   (AP Photo)

New US home sales dipped slightly last month but still beat expectations as builders start to see long-awaited encouraging signs about the housing market—including a dip in the inventory of new homes for sale. Sales fell 0.6% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 356,000, the Commerce Department said today.

March's results exceeded the expectations of economists surveyed by Reuters who expected a sales pace of 340,000 units. Sales were still down nearly 31% from March 2008. The median sales price fell to $201,400, a 12% drop from a year earlier. Prices are likely to remain weak for months as builders continue to clear out their stock of unsold homes. (More economy stories.)

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