New home sales in January and February were much higher than originally reported, taking some steam out of transactions for March, which fell 7% from the prior month.
The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that sales of newly built homes fell to a 328,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in March from a 353,000 rate the month prior.
Sales in February were revised upward by 40,000 units, January sales by 11,000 units.
Wall Street analysts were forecasting a 2% increase in sales to a 318,000 rate, which turned out to be a bit low.
Overall, new home sales are up 7.5% from a year ago. The government reported a 5.3-month supply of new homes on the market, unchanged from December when sales hit a 341,000 pace.
The median price of a new home sold in March was $234,000, down from $236,000 in February, but up from $220,500 in March of 2011.