Sales of new single-family homes decreased 0.6% to a 356,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in March, the Commerce Department said Friday.

The March figure came after an upwardly revised 358,000 rate in February, an 8.2% increase, originally reported as a 4.7% jump to 337,000. Thomson Reuters’ poll of economists had predicted a 340,000 sales level for March.

Sales of new homes were 30.6% below the 513,000 rate in March 2008. The supply of new homes at the current sales rate fell to 10.7 months from 11.2 months in February.

At the end of March, the number of new homes on the market decreased to 311,000 from 328,000. The unadjusted average price of a new single-family home grew to $258,000 from $255,100. Meanwhile, the unadjusted median price fell to $201,400 from $208,700 in February.

Sales fell in two of four regions in March. Sales in the Northeast slumped 32.1% to 19,000 from 28,000 in February, while sales in the Midwest saw a 7.8% decrease to 47,000 new homes sales, down from 51,000. In the South sales were flat at 206,000 homes sold. In the West, sales grew 15.1% to 84,000 homes from 73,000 a month earlier.

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