U.S. New-Home Sales Fell In April

New-home sales in the U.S. declined in April, posting the largest monthly drop since the end of last year, but there are signs the market for new homes is brightening.

Purchases of newly built single-family homes—a relatively narrow slice of all U.S. home sales—declined 6.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 in April, the Commerce Department said Thursday. This was the largest month-on-month drop since December of last year. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a smaller 2.7% drop.

New-home sales declined in all regions but the Northeast, with purchases in the Midwest and West notching the biggest monthly drops since December 2018.

Still, the report offered positive signs for the housing market. The department raised its estimate of overall new-home sales in March, and sales grew robustly in February and January. Meanwhile, sales were up 7% in April from the prior year. Still, the rate of new-home sales is well below levels clocked before the last recession.

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