US new-home sales fell in February for 2nd month

By Qiong (June) Zhang42 Comments

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017822914_apusnewhomesales.html

Sales of U.S. new homes fell in February for the second straight month, a reminder that the depressed housing market remains weak despite some improvement.

The Commerce Department said Friday that new-home sales dropped 1.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 homes. Sales have fallen nearly 7 percent since December.

There were some positive signs in the report. The government revised December’s sales figures up to show an annual rate of 336,000, the best sales pace in a year.

And the median sales price for new homes surged in February more than 8 percent, to $233,700. That’s the highest median price since June and could suggest builders are anticipating more sales in the months to come.

Just 150,000 new U.S. homes were for sale in January and February – the lowest on records dating back to 1963. The supply of new homes on the market has consistently fallen over the past two years, which could help stabilize prices.

Sales of previously occupied homes have risen more than 13 percent since July. And January and February made up the best winter for re-sales in five years, when the housing crisis began.

Sales were mixed across the country. They fell 2.4 percent in the Midwest and 7.2 percent in the South. They rose 8 percent in the West and 14.3 percent in the Northeast.

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