Economic Update: U.S. New Home Sales Fell 1.6% in February

U.S. new home sales fell 1.6% in February to a 313,000 units pace. The reading was weaker than the 325,000 units expected by consensus and comes after January was revised down to a 318,000 unit pace (was 321,000), though at least December was revised up to a 336,000 unit pace (was 324,000). In contrast to the existing home sales report, sales dropped in the Midwest and the South, down 2.4% and 7.2%, respectively. Sales in the Northeast and West were up 14.3% and 8.0%, respectively. The months’ supply of unsold homes inched up to 5.8 months from 5.7 months in January. Inventories are at a lean 150,000 units in February, 17% below inventories reported a year ago. The median sales price rose 8.3% to $233,700 in February and is up 6.2% over last year. The report was a disappointment, which may bring housing sector worries back to center stage today. 

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