Friday, April 23, 2010

New Home Sales: March 2010

Today, the U.S. Census Department released its monthly New Residential Home Sales Report for March showing significant revisions to prior months as well as a notable jump in sales on a month-to-month and year-over-year basis fueled mostly from a surge in buying in the South region.

Nevertheless, the low for the series currently remains February 2010 making the huge jump in March look suspiciously "stimulated".

Should the March results be interpreted as the start of an "organic" recovery or has the government tax gimmick run roughshod over the data?

Clearly we need to wait for more data and the revisions but given that today's "good news" was so skewed by the South region's 43.5% year-over-year jump, any declaration of a general market bottom would likely still be premature.

New single family home sales jumped 26.9% since February and 23.8% since March 2009 while median prices increased 4.34% since March 2009.

Additionally, the monthly supply declined to 6.7 months while the median months for sale stayed flat at 14.4 months.

The following charts show the extent of sales decline (click for full-larger version)