New Home Sales Rise 7.8 Percent in February
Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 7.8 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000 units from an upwardly revised January reading, according to data released March 24 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest sales pace since February 2008.
“Most sales activity continues to be among existing home owners who are trading up to new construction and taking advantage of low mortgage rates,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “First-time home buyers remain absent from the market, restricted by tight lending conditions.”
The inventory of new homes for sale was at 210,000 in February, which is a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace.
Regionally, new home sales increased 152.9 percent in the Northeast and 10.1 percent in the South. Sales dropped 6 percent in the West and 12.9 percent in the Midwest.