New home sales down 14.5% in March

New home sales took it on the chin in March.

According to the Commerce Department, sales of new single-family homes reached their lowest level since last July, dropping 14.5% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000.

This is also 13.3% down from year-ago levels, which is the largest year-over-year decline since April 2011.

The median sales price for new houses sold in March was $290,000, with the average sales price hitting slightly higher at $334,200.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 193,000, representing a 6.0-month supply.

The stock market responded in kind by Thursday's close, with homebuilding stocks in particular taking a hit.

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