Sales of new homes remain anemic by historic measures, but homebuilders have cut back so drastically on construction that new-home inventories are no longer bloated.
New single-family homes were selling at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000 homes per year during April, up 3.3 percent from March and 9.9 percent from a year ago, the Census Bureau reported.
That represents a supply of 5.1 months at the current rate of sales, down from 5.2 months in March and an all-time high of 12.1 months in January 2009. Many analysts consider a six-month supply of homes an even balance of supply and demand.
Sales of new single-family homes exceeded 1 million per year from 2003 through 2006, dipping below 500,000 in 2008 for the first time since 1982. The 306,000 new homes sold last year was an all-time low in records dating back to 1963.