economy. “Residential fixed investment accounted for fully one-third of total GDP growth in the first quarter, even more than the substantial support it provided in 2002,” he said.
New-home sales reached an exceptionally strong seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.01 million units in March. Regionally, shrugging off the chilling effects of harsh winter weather, the Northeast led the rebound with a nearly unheard-of 82.5% surge to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 104,000 units.
Starts rose nearly 16% in the South, where bad weather had also contributed to previous declines. The West remained virtually unchanged, with a 0.4% gain, while the Midwest slumped 26.4% following a big gain in February.
The inventory of unsold new homes declined 1.5% in March to 339,000 units, a 4.1-month supply at that month’s sales pace.
New-home sales for 2003 “will likely be right on par with last year’s record-breaking 974,000 units,” Seiders predicted.
Existing-Home Sales Ease in March
From unprecedented levels earlier this year, existing single-family home sales in March slipped 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Last month's sales activity was 2% above the pace of a year earlier and it was the 11th best monthly showing for existing-home sales on record.
“There's a huge momentum of sales activity continuing, and we're now at a much more sustainable level for home sales going forward,” said David Lereah, the association's chief economist. “We believe this will be the second-best year on record for housing.”
[ Go to Top ]