New home sales in the US increased from a significantly downwardly revised level in the month of February, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.
The report said new home sales climbed by 1.1 percent to an annual rate of 640,000 in February after jumping by 1.8 percent to a downwardly revised rate of 633,000 in January.
Economists had expected new home sales to pull back to an annual rate of 645,000 from the 670,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The increase was partly due to strength in the West, where new home sales spiked by 8.1 percent to a rate of 133,000. New home sales in the South also surged by 3.0 percent to a rate of 415,000.
Meanwhile, the report said new home sales in the Midwest slid by 1.4 percent to a rate of 71,000 and new home sales in the Northeast plummeted by 40.0 percent to a rate of 21,000.
The Commerce Department also said the median sales price of new houses sold in February was $438,200, up 2.7 percent from $426,500 in January and up 2.5 percent from $427,400 a year ago.
The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 436,000, which represents 8.2 months of supply at the current sales rate.
The months of supply are slightly down from 8.3 months in January but up sharply from 6.0 months in February of 2022.
A separate report released by the National Association of Realtors on Tuesday showed existing home sales in the US rebounded by much more than expected in the month of February.
NAR said existing home sales spiked by 14.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.58 million in February after falling by 0.7 percent to a rate of 4.00 million in January. Economists had expected existing home sales to climb to an annual rate of 4.17 million.
Existing home sales surged after falling for twelve straight months but were still down by 22.6 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
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