US home sales rebound from record low

April 26th, 2011 - 11:36 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 26 (IANS/EFE) The pace of new home sales in the US increased 11.1 percent last month to an annualised rate of 300,000 units, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Though the figure is an improvement from February’s all-time low of 270,000 and exceeded most analysts’ expectations, sales were still down by 21.9 percent from March 2010 and remain far below the level of 700,000 that is seen as the sign of a healthy housing market.

Sales in February were hurt by unusually harsh winter weather in the Northeast.

The median price of new homes rose 2.9 percent in March to $213,000.

Sales of existing homes in the US climbed 3.7 percent in March to an annualised rate of 5.1 million units, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said last week.

Even so, sales were 6.3 percent lower than in March 2010.

The median price for an existing home sold in March was $159,600, a decline of 5.9 percent from 12 months earlier, according to NAR.

The inventory of existing homes on sale expanded 1.5 percent last month to 3.55 million units, which represents a supply of 8.4 months at the current pace of sales, down slightly from 8.5 months at the end of February.

–IANS/EFE
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