WASHINGTON -- Sales of new single-family houses in April 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000, 2.3 percent above the revised March rate of 444,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 29 percent above the April 2012 estimate of 352,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2013 was $271,600; the average sales price was $330,800. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 156,000. This represents a supply of 4.1 months at the current sales rate.
"Builders are reporting an active spring buying season as consumers become more confident about going forward with a new-home purchase along with steadily firming prices in local markets," said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "While the cost of constructing homes is rising due to tightened supplies of materials, lots and labor, to some extent, this may be creating greater urgency among potential buyers."
"Today's report is further evidence of the gradual, consistent improvement we have been seeing in housing market conditions over the past year," noted NAHB Senior Economist Robert Denk. "We're now about half-way back to what could be considered a full recovery, and we do expect to see continual, solid gains in both starts and sales of new homes going forward."
On a regional basis, new-home sales rose 3.0 percent in the South and 10.8 percent in the West, but fell 4.8 percent in the Midwest and 16.7 percent in the Northeast in April.
The inventory of new homes for sale edged up to a still-thin 156,000 units in April. This is a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace.