According to recent housing reports the housing market is slowing. The United States Department of Commerce estimated March sales of new single-family houses at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 481,000. This is below the figure from February, which stood at 543,000, a seven-year high but almost 20% higher than for March of 2014. Sales for the first quarter of 2015 are still higher than for the first quarter of 2014. New-homes sales last month fell 33% in the Northeast and 15.8% in the South, while the West had a slight loss and the Midwest reported a modest gain. (Sales are based upon surveys and a sale is counted either as a sales agreement being signed or a deposit being taken for a purchase. These figures are based on a small sample size and a considerable margin of error. Sales of new homes account for about 10% of the total housing market.)
The Commerce Department report showed that the median price of a new home sold in March was $277,400.00. This was down 1.7 % from the March, 2014 figure. (“Median price” means 50% of the homes sold for less than that price and 50% of the homes sold for more than that price.) The average sales price of a new home sold in March was $343,300.00.
A report from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5,190,000, an increase of 6.1% and up in all regions of the country. This figure is the highest figure in a year and a half.
Various factors influence the housing markets, for example, inventory levels, mortgage interest rates, household incomes, consumer confidence, proportion of first-time home buyers and strength of labor and stock markets.