New Home Sales Hit Eight-Month High, While Job Gains Mount

(CN) – Sales of new homes jumped in March to the fastest pace in eight months, coinciding with 27 states, led by California, Texas and Florida, reporting significant year-over-year employment gains.

In regard to home sales, the Commerce Department said Tuesday that new-home sales rose 5.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 621,000, the highest rate since July  2016.

Sales are running 12 percent higher during the first three months of this year than during the same period in 2016, the department said.

The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2017 was $315,100. The average sales price was $388,200.

The available inventory has fallen 6.6 percent over the past year to 1.83 million properties. This means more buyers are competing for fewer properties, causing prices to rise and possibly making new construction an increasingly attractive choice. Residential construction firms have added 112,600 workers over the past year, a 4.2 percent increase, the government said.

New-home sales surged last month in the Northeast and West, grew modestly in the South and fell in the Midwest.

California Leads Year-Over-Year Job Gains

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that California led year-over-year job gains in March, adding 346,400 jobs. Texas was second, with an added 249,000 jobs, followed by Florida, with 246,100 new positions.

The largest percentage job gain occurred in Utah (3.2 percent), followed by Florida, Georgia, and Nevada (+3.0 percent each).

Two states, Alaska and Wyoming, lost jobs over the same 12-month period — 6,900 and 6,100 respectively — while employment remained essentially unchanged in 21 states and the District of Columbia over the year.


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