New single-family home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 551,000 in May after reaching a 8-year high in the previous month, according to a joint release of New Residential Sales data by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Thursday morning. This is a -6% drop from the downward-revised April rate of 586,000, but is 8.7% above May 2015, when the estimate was 507,000.

Home shoppers in the South remained to be the most active group for this month, as nearly 60%, or 323,000, of the total sales were made in this region. New residential sales in the Midwest posted the largest month-over-month growth (12.9%) among all regions, while the other regions all reported a decline compared to last month. Year-over-year, three out of four regions made a significant leap, with sales jumping 30.8% in the Northeast, 16.7% in the Midwest, and 13.3% in the South, respectively. The West is the only market that saw a -8.8% drop in new single-family sales compared to May 2015.

This month's median sales price for new homes fell to $290,400, down 9.3% from the downwardly-revised $320,200 in April. Based on the current sales pace, home supply at the end of May stood at about 5.3 months.

New homes priced between $200,000 and $299,999 were by far the most popular segment in the market, as 33%, or 17,000, of the total homes closed in May fell in that price range. Close behind were the 12,000 new home sales between $300,000 and $399,999, accounting for 24% of total sales. Other than those highest-or-lowest-priced homes, sales of most new homes in the middle cooled off a bit compared to the previous month, but are still roughly on par with what they were in the past a few months.

Read the full release from the Census Bureau here >>