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New home sales drop 7.1 percent

New home sales fell a steep 7.1 percent in March but rose 7.5 percent above last year's level.

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This chart shows the yearly number of single family homes sold, in thousands. New home sales dropped sharply in March but were higher than March of last year.

Yesterday, the U.S. Census Department released its monthly New Residential Home Sales Report for March showing a notable monthly decline with sales dropping 7.1% since February but rising 7.5% above the level seen in March 2011 and remaining at an historically low level of 328K SAAR units.

It's important to recognize that the inventory of new homes has now fallen to a new series low at 144K units, lowest level seen in in at least 47 years while the median number of months for sale increased to 7.8.

The monthly supply increased to 5.3 months while the median selling price increased 6.35% and the average selling price increased 11.66% from the year ago level.

The following chart show the extent of sales decline to date (click for full-larger version).

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