New homes sales jump off last months reading which just happened to be the worst numbers since 1963

Via Census:

Sales of new homes jumped more than expected in March but from February's severely depressed level that, despite an upward revision, is a record low for this series that goes back to 1963. Prices were mixed in March but the median price did bounce back from February's eight-year lows and supply did ease for the best reading since December. Yet a first-quarter to fourth-quarter sales comparison puts March in perspective, showing a 1.9 percent contraction.

A look at March's numbers shows a 300,000 unit annual sales rate vs 270,000 in February (revised from 250,000) and 312,000 in January (revised from 301,000). The median price rose 2.9 percent to $213,800 for year-on-year contraction of 4.9 percent, less deep than February's contraction of 6.4 percent. The average price fell 3.8 percent but year-on-year contraction, of 6.1 percent, is also moderating. Supply at the current sales rate fell to 7.3 months from 8.2 in February.

Today's report is a plus but new home sales, hit by competition from distressed sales of existing homes, continue to bounce along the very bottom, and less favorable mortgage rates won't be helping April sales. Stocks are easing in early reaction to today's results.


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