Sales of new-homes unexpectedly slowed again in February, falling 3.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 848,000, the lowest since June 2000, the Commerce Department reported Monday.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting an increase in February to about 1.00 million units.
Sales were down 18.3% compared with February 2006. Sales in January were revised lower to show a 15.8% drop to an 882,000 annual rate compared with 937,000 reported previously. Reported sales in December and November were also revised lower.
Inventories of unsold homes rose 1.5% to 546,000, representing an 8.1-month supply, the largest inventory in relation to sales since January 1991. The inventory is up 26.6% in the past 12 months.
The number of completed but unsold homes rose to 179,000 from 177,000, up 43% from a year earlier.
The median price of a new home was $250,000, down 0.3% compared with February 2006.
New-home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in February to the lowest since June 2000, dimming prospects for a quick revival in housing.
Purchases declined 3.9 percent to an annual pace of 848,000 last month from a revised 882,000 rate in January that was lower than previously reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The supply of unsold homes at the current sales pace rose to the highest in 16 years.
Economists had forecast new home sales would rise to a 985,000 rate from a previously reported 937,000 for January, according to the median of 63 projections in a Bloomberg News survey.
The median price of a new home fell 0.3 percent in February to $250,000 from $250,800 a year earlier, today’s report showed.
The number of homes for sale at the end of the month rose to 546,000 from 538,000 in January. That left the supply of homes at the current sales rate at 8.1 months’ worth, compared with 7.3 months in January. The number of homes completed and awaiting a buyer rose to 179,000 last month.
U.S. new-home sales down 18.3% year-on-year
U.S. six-month average new home sales falls to 992,000
U.S. Jan., Dec., Nov. new-home sales revised lower
U.S. Feb. median home prices nearly flat year-over-year
U.S. Feb. new-home inventories rise to 8.1 months’ supply
U.S. Feb. new-home inventories highest in 16 years
U.S. Feb. new-homes sales much weaker than 1 mln expected
U.S. Feb. new-home sales fall 3.9% to 848,000 annual pace
U.S. Feb. new-home sales lowest since June 2000
From the U.S. Census Bureau: