New home sales in the U.S. showed a substantial decrease in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday.
The report said new home sales slumped by 5.9 percent to an annual rate of 863,000 in April after jumping by 7.4 percent to a significantly downwardly revised rate of 917,000 in March.
Economists had expected new home sales to tumble by 7.0 percent to a rate of 950,000 from the 1.021 million originally reported for the previous month.
Despite the steep monthly drop, new home sales in April were still up by 48.3 percent compared to 582,000 in the same month a year ago.
The Commerce Department also said the median sales price of new houses sold in April was $372,400, up 11.4 percent from $334,200 in March and up 20.1 percent from $310,100 a year ago.
The report showed there were an estimated 316,000 new houses for sale at the end of April compared to 304,000 at the end of March.
The estimate of new houses for sale represents 4.4 months of supply at the current sales rate, up from 4.0 months in March but down from 6.6 months a year ago.
“Soaring home prices are taking a toll on sales — with both median and average home prices jumping to record highs – and we expect the pace of sales to moderate further over the rest of 2021,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.
Last Friday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report unexpectedly showing a continued decrease in existing home sales in April.
NAR said existing home sales tumbled by 2.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.85 million in April after plunging by 3.7 percent to a rate of 6.01 million in March. The slump surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to surge up by 2.0 percent.
Existing home sales declined for the third straight month but were still up by 33.9 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
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