New home sales up last month, but still 23 percent below last year

In April, new home sales increased about 7 percent. The inventory of new homes has fallen to a series low.

This chart shows new single family home sales from 2003 through last month. New home sales rose slightly in April 2011, but they still haven't reached the level they were a year ago.

Today, the U.S. Census Department released its monthly New Residential Home Sales Report for April showing a monthly increase with sales climbing 7.31% since March but still declining 23.10% below the level seen a year earlier to a historically low 323K SAAR units.

These results, while again strengthening a bit off of February's horrendous level still clearly indicates that the nation's housing markets are firmly entrenched in a double-dip and come fully in-line with the other pitiful housing data-points I have outlined in past weeks.

It's important to recognize that the inventory of new homes has now fallen to a new series low at 175K units, lowest level seen in in at least 47 years while the median number of months for sale remained elevated increasing to 8.8.

The monthly supply declined to 6.5 months while the median selling price increased a notable 4.61% and the average selling price declined 0.59%.
The following chart show the extent of sales decline to date (click for full-larger version).

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