Despite recent rebounds in the U.S. homeownership rate, minority home buyers continue to struggle to recover from the foreclosure crisis.
Courtesy Adobe Stock/Sean Locke

Sales of new single‐family houses in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Last month's number is 1.1% above the revised January rate of 633,000 but 19% below the February 2022 estimate of 790,000.

"Builders have found the housing market is titled in their favor more than we’ve seen in the past," says Ali Wolf, chief economist at Zonda. "Resale inventory remains constrained, leaving builders as the ‘only game in town’ for some buyers. Further, builders don’t have an emotional attachment to the price of a home the way a resale seller would."

The median sales price of new homes sold in February was $438,200, while the average sales price was $498,700.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale was 436,000 at the end of February, representing a 8.2-month supply at the current sales rate.

"If price is the main objection to securing a sale, many builders can adjust to allow the buyer to feel they are getting a deal," continues Wolf. "If payment is the main objection to securing sale, many builders can adjust to help bring the mortgage rate down. The ability to ‘find the market’ has allowed new-home builders to post three consecutive months of improvements in sales."