The sales rate for new single-family homes dropped for the fifth straight month in March, hitting the lowest level since October 1991, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today. Since reaching a record seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 1.39 million in July 2005, the rate has plummeted 62.1 percent. This rate -- a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for seasonal variations in sales activity -- dropped to 526,000 in March. The March rate is down about 36.6 percent compared to the rate for the same month last year, and dropped about 8.5 percent compared to the February rate. The supply of homes for sale at the March sales rate reached 11 months, with 468,000 homes for sale at the end of March. It was the largest supply of new homes since September 1981, when the supply reached 11.3 months. That is despite 12 consecutive monthly declines in the volume of homes for sale. In March, ...
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