Wall Street Journal (05/24/13) Robbie Whelan
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, builders were on track in April to sell 454,000 new homes this year—up 2.3% from March and up 29% from April 2012. Meanwhile, the median price of a new home hit $271,600 last month, while the average new-home price reached $330,800—both new highs. The price gain comes amid a spring selling season that has plodded along at a steady pace, but some industry insiders say the numbers could be higher. They believe some builders are intentionally holding back sales as a strategy to control supply and maximize prices. The focus on pricing more so than sales reflects the escalating costs of land, labor, and materials.