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U.S. new-home sales off 7 percent in March

Major city home prices drop

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published April 24, 2012 at 9:31 a.m. Updated April 24, 2012 at 11:11 a.m.

— Sales of new homes fell in March by the largest amount in more than a year, indicating that the U.S. housing market remains under strain despite some modest signs of improvement.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales dropped 7.1 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 328,000 units. That followed a 7.3 percent increase in sales in February. This figure was revised up from an initial estimate that February sales had fallen 1.6 percent. Sales of new homes represent less than 10 percent of the housing market.

A separate report Tuesday said home prices dropped in February in most major U.S. cities for a sixth straight month.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index shows that prices dropped in February from January in 16 of the 20 cities it tracks.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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