New-Home Sales Down in March

April 29th, 2014 by Editor

Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 14.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units in March, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Overly stringent underwriting standards for mortgages have had a detrimental effect on modest-priced markets and have hit first-time home buyers particularly hard,” says National Association of Homebuilders chief economist David Crowe. “As a result, most of the sales are coming from a smaller pool of buyers who have a more established credit history, are more likely to finance with higher cash down payments and are purchasing higher-priced homes.”

Regionally, sales in March fell 21.5 percent in the Midwest, 14.4 percent in the South and 16.7 percent in the West. The Northeast was the exception to the rule, with a 12.5 percent increase.

The inventory of new homes for sale edged up to 193,000 units in March, which is a six-month supply at the current sales pace.

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