The seasonally adjusted number of new homes sold and for sale declined 14.2 percent in the Northeast and 13.1 percent in the West from May 2004 to June 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today, but rose 9.6 percent in the South. Overall, the number of new houses sold and for sale dropped 0.8 percent across the nation during that period, while June 2004 new-home sales were 11.1 percent above June 2003 levels.

There were an estimated 696,000 new homes sold and for sale in June 2004 in the South, according to seasonally adjusted Census statistics, which is the highest level reported in any U.S. region. The seasonally adjusted number of new homes sold and for sale in the South increased 25.6 percent from June 2003 to June 2004.

Sales of new single-family homes in June 2004 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.33 million, which compares with the May 2004 rate of 1.34 million and the June 2003 estimate of 1.19 million. The 2004 numbers have an error margin ranging from 11.2 percent to 11.6 percent.

Median sales prices of new homes rose from $206,300 in May 2004 to $209,900 in June 2004, up from $187,900 in June 2003. Median home prices peaked in April at $221,400. From April 2004 to May 2004, median prices for new-home sales slid 11.4 percent. The percentage of new houses sold for more than $200,000 has trended up since June 2003.

There was a 3.4-month supply of new homes available given the sales pace in June 2004, the Census Bureau reported, which is down from the 3.5-month supply reported in June 2003 and the 4.1-month supply reported in November 2003.

July 2004 new residential sales data will be released at 10 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Aug. 25.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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