The Commerce Department reported Friday that new home sales increased 27% last month, the largest monthly increase in 47 years.
Before you get your hopes up that the housing market is rebounding from the crash in 2007, a closer look at the monthly report is somewhat of a downer.
The 441,000 homes were not sold and moved into, actually. They reflect signed contracts to purchase with many new prospective buyers hoping to beat the June 30 deadline to receive a one-time offer by the government for a $8,000 credit for first-time owners and $6,600 credit for current homeowners who plan to purchase and move into another property. The previous month sales in February was depressed because of bad weather conditions throughout most of the nation.
Since the government's tax credit incentive began last year, 1.8 million buyers have qualified at a cost of $12.6 billion to the nation's taxpayers, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Median sales prices in March was $214,000, up 3% from the previous month. There still is a backlog of 228,000 unsold new homes for sale, the Commerce report said.
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