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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

March New Home Sales Down Slightly, But Better Than Expected

New home sales dipped .6 percent in March, compared to February, but the drop was less than expected, the Commerce Department said this morning.

March's seasonally adjusted annual sales rate was 356,000, higher than the 340,000 expected by economists.

The key number to look at in new home sales is excess inventory. Until most of those new and empty houses get sold (or bulldozed), there can be no real recovery in the housing market.

Currently, there is a 10.7 month supply of new homes -- that means, at current sales rates, it would take 10.7 months to burn off all the inventory.

But that number is down from March, and economists find that encouraging.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 24, 2009; 10:24 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Commerce Department, home sales  
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