Warmer weather, a tax credit for first-time homeowners and improved consumer confidence in the economy combined to cause new home sales to increase 26.7% last month, the Departments of Commerce and Housing and Urban Development reported today.
In March, sales were at an adjusted annual rate of 411,000, compared to 324,000 in February. The increase followed four consecutive monthly declines. Last month's sales were 23.8% those of March 2009.
Last month, the median sales price was $214,000, compared with $220,500 in February. The average sales price was $258,600, compared with $282,600.
In March, new home sales increased from their February levels in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West by 35.7%, 4.3%, 43.5%, and 5.7%, respectively.
The year-year sales figures increased in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West by 100%, 11.4%, 18.5%, and 25.7%.
Today's figures were the second consecutive piece of good news on the housing front. Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales increased by 5.6% last month and were 16.1% higher than in March 2009.