Sales of newly built homes dropped 16.6% in April from March, far more than expected, and were down 26.9% from April 2021, according to the U.S. Census.
The annualized rate came in at 591,000 units, seasonally adjusted. Analysts had been expecting 750,000. March’s read was also revised lower.
That is the slowest sales pace since April 2020, when everything shut down at the start of the Covid pandemic. Sales surged quickly after that, as Americans sought bigger homes with outdoor spaces for quarantining.
These numbers are based on signed contracts during the month, not closings, so it is perhaps the most up-to-date indicator in the housing market. Mortgage rates, which have been rising since…