Sales of new homes slid lower than expected in March, falling 8.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted pace of 526,000 from February. As a result, inventories inched upward yet again, to 11 months of supply.

Compared to last year, new-home sales were down 36.6 percent last month.

March also brought declining prices for new homes. Median home prices landed at $227,600, a 6.8 percent dip from the previous month; average prices decreased 3.5 percent, to $292,600.

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Alison Rice is a contributing editor to BUILDER Online.