New home sales plunged 32.7% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000, a record low, as the median sales price fell and supply increased to the highest level in almost a year, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.
Sales in all four geographical regions fell by at least 23%, with those in the West dropping 53.2% to an annual pace of 51,000 — another record low. Records date back to 1963.
New home sales for April and March were also revised downward. April sales were revised to 446,000 from the 504,000 reported last month. Sales in March were revised to 389,000 from 439,000.
Economists expected 420,000 new home sales for the month, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters. Sales for the 12-month period ending in May fell 18.3%.
The home buyers' tax credit had boosted sales in April as buyers rushed to beat the April 30 deadline.
On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell 2.2% to a seasonally adjusted 5.66 million homes. The drop was partly due to a backlog of deal closings stemming from the surge of buying ahead of the tax-credit expiration, said chief economist Lawrence Yun.
The supply of new homes on the market at the May sales pace surged 46.6% to 8.5 months, up from 5.8 months in April. The median sales price fell 9.6% from a year ago to $200,900, and 1.0% from April.