New-home sales drop 33% since year earlier

Sales of new U.S. homes in May were down sharply from levels of a year earlier and also dropped below April’s total, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new-home sales was down 0.6% from April and fell 32.8% from May 2008, amid a glut in housing. New-home sales in the West, however, were up 1.3% over April’s adjusted annual rate.

From April to May, new-home sales increased in all regions of the U.S. except the South, where they fell 8.5%, the Census Bureau reported. But because the volume of sales was much greater there than in other parts of the country, that region’s sales decline dragged the national total into negative territory.

Compared with a year earlier, however, May new-home sales were down by double-digit percentages in every region of the U.S.


The median sale price for a new home in May was $221,600, down 3.4% from a year earlier.