May 23, 2014

New-home sales up in April

May 27, 2014 – New-home sales increased by 6.4 percent to 433,000 annualized units in April – but year-over-year sales were down by 4.2 percent.

NAFCU Research Assistant Doug Christman analyzed data from the Census Bureau for a Macro Data Flash and found that an uptick of 47.4 percent in home buying in the Midwest influenced the April numbers.

"Gains in new-home sales were primarily due to a sharp increase in activity in the Midwest," Christman wrote. "Limited inventory continues to constrain stronger home sales, while housing starts in single-family homes remain lackluster. Improvements in the labor market, affordable housing and loosening credit standards are all expected to help the housing market improve later in the year."

In addition to the Midwest, sales went up in the South by 3.1 percent, while sales remained constant in the West and declined in the Northeast. Year-over-year, sales rose in the Midwest and fell in the other three regions.

The median new-home price, non-seasonally adjusted, went down from $281,700 in March to $275,800 in April – which is also down from last year's figure of $279,300.