More Good Numbers, This Time on New Home Sales

April 24, 2010

On Thursday, we heard great news about an increase in sales of existing Chicago real estate for March. On Friday, the report came in about new construction nationwide, and it offers another reason to celebrate.

The sale of new, single-family homes rose 26.9 percent in March compared to February, the biggest monthly increase in 47 years. Of course, February had set a record low.

According to a joint report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, total sales of new homes in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 324,000; March’s rate was 411,000. That is a 23.8 percent increase over the 332,000 estimate of March 2009, the best sales pace since July, and the highest level since 1963.

While sales definitely heated up thanks to the federal home buyer’s tax credit program, which is set to expire on April 30, experts believe warmer weather also played a role.

The median price of new construction sold in March was $214,000, which is an increase of more than 4 percent from a year ago but a decrease of more than 3 percent from February.

On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing U.S. homes rose 6.8 percent in March; the Illinois Association of Realtors said the number of existing Chicago homes sold last month increased close to 50 percent.

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