Look at Whether New Home Sales Benefitted the Economy

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for with bated breath. Drum roll, please. Today the Commerce Department came out with the new home sales data for March 2011. Try to suppress your screaming enthusiasm–it’s a Monday. Here’s your Cheat Sheet:

Sales: Sales of new single-family houses in March 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000.

Month-over-Month Change: This is 11.1% above the revised February rate of 270,000.

Year-over-Year Change: This is 21.9% below the March 2010 estimate of 384,000.

Prices: The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2011 was $213,800; the average sales price was $246,800. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 183,000.

Inventory: This represents a supply of 7.3 months at the current sales rate, down from 8.9 in February. A nice improvement for the moment.

Commentary: This is an improvement … but from a record low set last month. We’ll need much more future data to conclude anything meaningful has changed in the housing (NYSE:IYR) market.