April 25th, 2020 11:57 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
The new-home market
was showing a strong first quarter in 2020 until the pandemic hit. Sales of
newly built single-family homes decreased 15.4% in March to a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 627,000 units, according to data released Thursday from
the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales
were 9.5% lower than a year ago, and markets hardest hit by COVID-19 saw the
largest slowdown in sales last month.
the sharp decline in new-home sales [last] month, the first quarter of 2020 was
actually 6.7% higher than the same period last year, reflecting a strong pace
prior to the virus outbreak,” says Dean Mon, chairman of the National
Association of Home Builders. “While we expect to see some further impacts to
the industry, we remain confident that housing will be a sector that will help
lead the economic recovery.”
of new homes increased to a 6.4-month supply in March. There were 333,000 new single-family
homes for sale last month, which is 1.2% fewer than a year ago. The NAHB
reports that of that total, 76,000 are completed and ready to occupy.
median sales price for a new home in March was $321,400, up from $310,600 a
still in the market for a home might take a fresh look at new homes in the
months ahead, especially if new-home prices soften," realtor.com® Chief
Economist Danielle Hale said in a statement.
sales dropped in all four regions of the U.S. last month. New-home sales saw
the steepest drops in the Northeast, down 41.5%, followed by a 38.5% drop in
the West, an 8.1% decrease in the Midwest, and a 0.8% decrease in the South.
in March sales reflects buyer concerns over the virus, and was primarily
concentrated in the hardest-hit regions of the Northeast and West,” says NAHB
Chief Economist Robert Dietz.
sales saw a much smaller decline last month. The National Association
of REALTORS® reported this week that sales of existing homes
dropped 8.5% from February to March and were down just 0.8% over a year ago.
Further, the median price for previously owned homes was up in March to
$280,600—an 8% annual rise. Read more: Despite a Dip in March,
Home Sales Push Ahead
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