The Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development this morning (March 25) reported a 1.8% drop in new single-family home sales from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 590,000 during February, 29.8% below February, 2007.

Both the annual sales rate and the year-over-year decline, however, were up from January, when the rate fell to 588,000 and the decline from the previous January was 33.9%.

The median sales price of new houses sold in February rose significantly, to $244,100, up from $216,000 in January. The average price was $296,400, up from $276,600 in January.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 471,000, a 9.8 month-supply, down just a tenth of a point from January.

Regionally, on a month-to-month basis, new single-family home sales in February were down 40.3% in the Northeast, down 6.4% in the Midwest, up 5.7% in the South and up 0.7% in the West. On a year-over-year basis, sales were down 19.6% in the Northeast, 42.5% in the Midwest, 27.9% in the South and 28.3% in the West.