According to a report by the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new single-family homes in February were 775,000 per year, seasonally adjusted.
The number marked a nine-month low in new home sales amid severe winter weather hitting large parts of the country that month. The February rate declined 18.2 percent from the revised rate of 948,000 in January, but increased 8.2 percent year over year from 716,000 in February 2020.
The median sales price was $ 349,400, compared to the revised January median sales price of $ 353,200, but still well above the median sales price of $ 331,800 last year.
As of late February, the seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale was 312,000, or about 4.8 months at the current sales rate.
New home sales declined month-on-month in all regions, with the Midwest being the most successful with a 37.5 percent drop in sales. The northeast, south and west saw less dramatic hits from month to month. Sales fell by 11.6 percent, 14.7 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively.
With both mortgage rates and house prices rising steadily, it is possible that buyer demand will cool as the year progresses, although most industry experts say demand will continue to be high this spring.
“The housing market will continue to support economic growth, but the risks are on the downside,” Abbey Omodunbi, an economist at PNC Financial in Pittsburgh, told Reuters. “The rise in prices and mortgage rates will hurt affordability and likely weaken demand in 2021.”
On Monday, the National Association of Realtors also released a report that found that sales of existing properties fell significantly by 6.6 percent between January and February.
Email Lillian Dickerson