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Financial News: U.S. New Home Sales Unexpectedly Edge Lower In

U.S. New Home Sales Unexpectedly Edge Lower In February

03/25/2024 - 10:41:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of February, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Monday.

The Commerce Department said new home sales dipped by 0.3 percent to an annual rate of 662,000 in February after jumping by 1.7 percent to a revised rate of 664,000 in January.

Economists had expected new home sales to surge by 2.9 percent to a rate of 680,000 from the 661,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the monthly pullback, new home sales in February were still up by 5.9 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

The unexpected monthly decrease partly reflected a substantial downturn by new home sales in the North, which plummeted by 31.5 percent to a rate of 37,000 in February after nearly doubling to a rate of 54,000 in January.

New home sales in the Midwest also slumped by 2.4 percent to a rate of 83,000, while new home sales in the West jumped by 2.3 percent to a rate of 175,000 and new home sales in the South surged by 3.7 percent to a rate of 367,000.

The report also said the median sales price of new houses sold in February was $400,500, down 3.5 percent from $414,900 in January and down 7.6 percent from $433,300 a year ago.

The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 463,000, which represents 8.4 months of supply at the current sales rate. The months of supply is up from 8.3 months in January but unchanged from February 2023.

The National Association of Realtors released a separate report last Thursday showing existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly continued to soar in the month of February.

NAR said existing home sale index spiked by 9.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.38 million in February after jumping by 3.1 percent to a rate of 4.00 million in January.

The continued surge came as a surprise to economists, who had expected existing home sales to pull back by 1.5 percent to a rate of 3.94 million.

With the unexpected increase, existing home sales reached their highest level since hitting an annual rate of 4.530 million in February 2023.

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