US new home sales fell in April from a record high in March

There was a 6.7% decline in new home sales in the United States in April but the 673,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate was down from an upwardly revised March total.

Sales in March set a new record monthly post-recession high of 723,000.

“The strong March sales pace was due to a combination of lower interest rates and the use of builder price incentives,” said National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “At the same time, the April sales report was a solid number coming off a very strong March reading.”

The data from the HUD and US Census Bureau revealed that new home sales rose 1.3% in the Midwest, 6.7% in the West and 10.3% in the South; but fell 17.6% in the Northeast.

Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders said that the data shows some stabilization and modest growth for the start of 2019 following a tough fourth quarter of 2018.

“Our builder surveys show that traffic is steadily increasing. The challenge facing builders is how to deal with ongoing supply-side constraints such as a lack of buildable lots and labor that are putting upward pressure on housing costs,” he said.

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