Based on last months’ new homes sales data, the housing recovery is still on shaky ground. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, sales of new single-family homes fell 1.6 percent between January and February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000. That is 11.4 percent above February 2011’s figure, but the lowest recorded since October.
Overall there were an estimated 150,000 new houses for sale in February, representing a supply of 5.8 months, up from 5.7 months in January.
The National Association of Home Builders blamed the lackluster report on tight lending conditions and the mild winter.
“To some extent, we believe that exceptionally good weather conditions in December helped pull some home sales forward that would otherwise have occurred in January and February, which partially accounts for the declines we’ve seen at the beginning of this year,” said, David Crowe, chief economist of NAHB.
The news was even worse in the South, where single-family home sales fell 7.2 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 168,000, also the lowest level since October.
The median sales price of new homes in February was $233,700. — Adam Fusfeld