According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 11.4 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000 units from an upwardly revised February reading.
"After two robust months of new home sales, some readjustment is inevitable," said David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "This is the best first quarter since 2008, and attractive mortgage rates and pent-up demand should keep the market moving in the right direction."
"Our surveys show that builders remain optimistic about the housing market," said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. "We expect this spring to be a better buying season than we've seen in recent years."
The inventory of new homes for sale was at 213,000 in March, which is a 5.3-month supply at the current sales pace.
Regionally, new home sales rose 5.9 percent in the Midwest. Sales fell 33.3 percent in the Northeast, 15.8 percent in the South and 3.4 percent in the West.