New home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 551,000 as of the end of May – a decrease of 6.0% compared with about 586,000 in April but an increase of 8.7% compared with May 2015, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Regionally, new home sales increased 12.9% in the Midwest but decreased 0.9% in the South, 15.6% in the West and 33.3% in the Northeast.
The median sales price of new homes sold in May was $290,400; the average sales price was $358,900.
As of the end of May, there were about 244,000 new homes for sale – a 5.3-month supply at the current sales pace.
“Although new home sales are down from a robust reading in April, they remain solid and builder confidence in the market is growing – two indicators that the housing sector should strengthen throughout the year,” says Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in a statement.
“At an annual pace of 551,000 units, new home sales are up relative to the first few months of 2016, as well as last year,” adds Robert Dietz, chief economist for NAHB. “The sales market continues to make overall gains despite month-to-month volatility.”