New home sales nearly match post-crisis high

By Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily

Sales of newly constructed homes appear to have stopped, at least for the moment, their up-one-month, down-the-next pattern. They rose for the third consecutive month in March, and did so convincingly.

The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development say that sales of new homes jumped 5.8 percent in March, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units. The rate nearly tied that of July 2016, 622,000 units, for the highest sales pace since the housing crisis. March also marked the first time since last July that sales have topped 600,000. March sales were up 15.6 percent compared to the previous March when the annual rate was 537,000.

Analysts had expected an increase in sales, but widely undershot the mark. Those polled by Econoday were looking for results in the 570,000 to 605,000 range with a consensus of 588,000.

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