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The sales of new single-family homes in February declined slightly from January levels but were higher than the level of sales one year ago. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, February sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 662,000, 0.3% below the revised January rate of 664,000.

“While not a blockbuster report, today’s new-home sales numbers reinforce the idea that the spring selling season is healthy,” says Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf. “Consumers are having mixed feelings about interest rates in the 7%s. Some, if they can make the math work, understand that higher rates are the norm today and are getting on with their lives. Others, however, remain hesitant due to affordability concerns.”

The February estimate was 5.9% above the estimate for February 2023 of 625,000 sales.

“Mortgage rates rose in February, and the elevated rates took a bite out of new-home sales,” says Holden Lewis, home expert for NerdWallet. “They declined slightly from the previous month, although sales were 6% stronger than 12 months earlier.

The median sales price of new houses sold in February was $400,500. The average sales price was $485,000, according to the Census and HUD.

“Builders are competing with home resales by restructuring new homes for buyers on a limited budget,” says Lewis. “Half of new homes sold in February cost under $400,00. A year earlier, just 42% were in that price range.”

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 463,000, which represents a supply of 8.4 months at the current sales rate.

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