The new home sales numbers are out. “Sales of new homes rose unexpectedly in April to the fastest pace this year as the housing sector showed resilience in the face of rising mortgage rates. But the price of homes sold last month fell and the level of unsold homes rose to a record high.”
“The unexpected jump in April home sales was not likely to change the overall view that the booming housing industry is beginning to cool off. Even with the increase in the April sales pace, the median price of a new home sold in April dropped by 7.3 percent from the March level to $238,500.”
“The backlog of unsold homes rose by 2.4 percent to a new record of 565,000 homes on the market at the end of April.”
“Sales increased 4.9 percent to an annual rate of 1.198 million. Builders broke ground on at an annual rate of 1.849 million, the Commerce Department said last week.”
“Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and fellow policy makers are watching the housing market as they weigh whether to extend a two-year cycle of interest-rate increases. ‘The housing market is not cooling as much as Fed officials were anticipating,’ Said (economist) Chris Rupkey.”
From the Commerce Department PDF; US New Home Inventory.
From the Wall Street Journal. “An estimated 107,000 homes were actually sold last month, down from 110,000 in March, based on figures not seasonally adjusted.”
The April 2005 number sold was 116,000, not seasonally adjusted.