Sales of newly built, single-family homes dropped 6 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 551,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Although new home sales are down from a robust reading in April, they remain solid and builder confidence in the market is growing — two indicators that the housing sector should strengthen throughout the year,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill.

“At an annual pace of 551,000 units, new home sales are up relative to the first few months of 2016 as well as last year,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “The sales market continues to make overall gains despite month-to-month volatility.”

The inventory of new homes for sale was 244,000 in May, which is a 5.3-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold was $290,400.

Regionally, new home sales rose by 12.9 percent in the Midwest. Sales fell by 0.9 percent in the South, 15.6 percent in the West and 33.3 percent in the Northeast.

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