April new home sales shot up 14.8 percent from March and 47.8 percent from a year ago, marking the highest annual pace since May 2008, according to data released by the Commerce Department on May 26.
April’s sales topped March’s revised rate of 439,000 units to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 504,000 units as buyers took advantage of the federal home buyer tax credit, record-low mortgage rates and falling prices, according to the Commerce Department.
By region, sales in the Midwest surged 31.6 percent in April from the previous month, the West increased 21.7 percent, the South rose 10.8 percent and the Northeast remained steady.
Median new home prices fell to $198,400 in April from March’s upwardly revised figure of $219,600, its weakest annual decline since July 2009, according to a May 27 Hanley Wood Market Intelligence report. That marks a 9.7 percent drop from the previous month and a 9.5 percent drop from a year ago.
New home inventory dropped in April from the previous month on a non-seasonally adjusted basis to 212,000 units, marking 32 consecutive months of declines, Hanley Wood reported. On a seasonally adjusted basis, new home inventory fell to 211,000 units. New home inventory levels are now at levels typically healthy for the housing market. Based on the current sales pace, there is now a 5-month supply of new homes on the market on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest level since December 2005.