Sales of single-family homes slide in April

by Candyd Mendoza29 May 2019

The percentage of Americans buying newly built, single-family homes dropped in April.

Data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the US Census Bureau recorded a 6.7% decline in sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 units in April.

The drop marked the third-highest pace, following March's sales pace of 723,000 units, which was the highest monthly rate since the Great Recession.

“The strong March sales pace was due to a combination of lower interest rates and the use of builder price incentives,” National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “At the same time, the April sales report was a solid number coming off a very strong March reading."

April's inventory of new homes for sale was 332,000, representing 5.9 months of supply. The median sales price was $342,200, up from $314,400 a year ago.

New home sales climbed for most of the regions in the US except for the Northeast, which decreased 17.6% on a year-to-date basis. The Midwest saw a 1.3% increase, while the West and South experienced increases of 6.7% and 10.3%, respectively.

"After a challenging final quarter of 2018, data for the start of the year shows stabilization and modest growth for home sales,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde. “Our builder surveys show that traffic is steadily increasing. The challenge facing builders is how to deal with ongoing supply-side constraints such as a lack of buildable lots and labor that are putting upward pressure on housing costs.”