The estimated sales pace of new single-family homes in March held almost level with the prior month, the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today, though it was off an estimated 30.6 percent from the same month last year.

Sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 356,000 in March, compared with 358,000 in February and 513,000 in March 2008 — the rate is a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for typical seasonal fluctuations in sales activity.

The median sales price of new single-family homes sold in March 2009 was $201,400, down 12.2 percent from the March 2008 median price of $229,300. And the average sales price was $258,000, down 10.3 percent compared with the March 2008 average price of $287,600.

There was an estimated 10.7-month supply of new homes for sale in March — this suggests it would take 10.7 months to sell off the inventory of for-sale homes at the March sales pace.

The agencies note that seasonally adjusted statistics can show irregular movement, and it can take five months to establish a trend for new homes sold.

On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors reported that the median price of resale homes dropped 12.4 percent and the annual sales pace of resale homes dropped 7.1 percent year-over-year in March, with the rate of resale home sales slipping 3 percent from February 2009 to March 2009 (see Inman News).

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