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Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 7.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 323,000 units in April, their best pace since December of 2010, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department on May 24.
The report also showed that the nationwide inventory of new homes for sale continued to fall, reaching just 175,000 units in April, which was a new record low, representing a 6.5-month supply at the current sales rate.
"The fact that new-home sales have now risen for two consecutive months is certainly welcome news following an all-time low sales number in February," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.
“But builders are still contending with a great deal of competition from foreclosed properties for sale in certain markets, and in places where this is not an issue, it remains extremely difficult to obtain credit to build new homes," Nielsen said.
"While more buyers are starting to show up at builder sales offices this season, the level of actual buying activity remains quite low," noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
"The razor-thin inventory of new homes for sale is indicative of the caution that builders are exercising with regard to new projects as well as their inability to obtain financing for new-home production," he said.
New-home sales posted gains in every region of the country in April.
Sales were up 7.7% in the Northeast, 4.9% in the Midwest, 4.3% in the South and 15.1% in the West.
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