New Home Sales Rose in March, but Still Weak

April 25, 2011 Updated: April 25, 2011

New home sales in the United States grew slightly in March after hitting a record low in February, boosting hopes among economists and homebuilders.

Single-family home sales, which are tabulated after contracts are signed, rose 11.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 300,000 unit annual rate, according to estimates the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly released on Monday.

In February, only 270,000 homes were sold, the lowest number recorded since the government began tracking the sales in 1963. Economists had predicted a 280,000-unit annual rate after the February data.

In March 2010, 384,000 new homes were sold in the United States.

Despite the rise, further gains in the market for new homes will be curbed by competition from previously owned homes and foreclosed homes.

The average sales price of new homes sold in March was $246,800.