New home sales surge in U.S.

New home sales surged 27 percent across the nation in March, the indicator’s largest monthly gain since April 1963, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing home sales rose 6.8 percent in March.
According to the Commerce Department, March sales of 411,000 new homes far surpassed February’s record low, which was revised to 324,000.
Sales in December, January and February were revised higher. March sales are up 24 percent compared with March 2009.
The median sales price of a new home sold in March was $214,000, up 4.3 percent from a year earlier.
The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million units in March from 5.01 million in February, and are 16.1 percent above the 4.61 million-unit level in March 2009.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said it is encouraging to see a broad home sales recovery in nearly every part of the country, with two important underlying trends.
“Sales have been above year-ago levels for nine straight months, and inventory has trended down from year-ago levels for 20 months running. The homebuyer tax credit has been a resounding success as these underlying trends point to a broad stabilization in home prices. This is preserving perhaps $1 trillion in largely middle class housing wealth that may have been wiped out without the housing stimulus measure,” Yun said. “Foreclosures have been feeding into the inventory pipeline at a fairly steady pace and are being absorbed manageably. In fact, foreclosures are selling quickly, especially in the lower price ranges that are attractive to first-time homebuyers.”

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