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New home sale prices drop slightly in Q1 amid shift in homebuilding trend

New home sale prices declined for the first time in seven years during the first quarter, dropping 1% year over year to a median of $363,900, driven in part by a trend toward smaller residential lot sizes, fewer upgrades and a shift away from high-end finishes, according to new data from Redfin.

Consistent with the recent quarterly periods, sales of newly built homes declined 3.1% year over year in the first quarter. For existing homes, the median sale price was up just 1.5% to $282,900, while sales were down 1.2% during the period.

The supply of new and existing homes grew 4.2% and 4.8%, respectively, in the first quarter.

Among U.S. metros, Chicago saw the biggest decrease in new home sales prices year over year, declining 16.4%. Following closely are Los Angeles and Bridgeport, Conn., decreasing 14.2% and 14%, respectively, year over year.

Some California metro areas, however, saw a surge in new home sale prices during the quarter, with San Jose recording the largest increase at 50.8%, followed by Oakland and Fresno, rising 39.5% and 13.3%, respectively.