Sales of new US homes dropped in February for a second consecutive month, signaling high prices and surging mortgage rates that may keep prospective buyers on the sidelines.
- Purchases of new single-family homes fell 2% to a 772,000 annualized rate after a downwardly revised 788,000 in January. The average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 810,000 rates.
- The fall in sales signals buyers are moving away from the market amid high home prices and increasing mortgage rates as the Fed tightens policy.
- The median sales price of a new home soared 10.7% in February from a year earlier to $400,600.
- The number of homes sold during the month and awaiting the start of construction increased from January to 209,000.
- There were 407,000 new homes available for sale at the end of February, the most since August 2008. At the current sales rate, it would take 6.3 months to exhaust the supply of new homes.
Regionally, sales jumped in the Northeast and Midwest and plunged in the South and West.
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Source: US Census Bureau