New Home Sales Dip 4.4% in February, But Still Near Cycle-High

March 25, 2020
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By Stephen VanHorn

New home sales dropped 4.4 percent in February from January’s 13-year high, but it was still the second highest pace since 2007. Compared to the same time last year, sales were up 14.3 percent. Despite the relatively strong numbers, however, experts expect the slowdown in sales to continue, especially given the current economic landscape and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Many Americans are putting off homebuying while the pandemic plays off, and once it does, some who were preparing to purchase a home may no longer be able to afford one due to layoffs or lost wages. 

The numbers: Sales of newly-constructed homes in the U.S. dipped 4.4% on a monthly basis in February to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 765,000, the government reported Tuesday.

January’s upwardly-revised figure represented the highest pace of new-home sales since June 2007, marking a cycle high for the U.S. real-estate industry.

Compared with February 2019, new-home sales increased 14.3%, and February itself was the second-highest month for new-home sales since 2007. Notably, the new-home sales report is prone to major revisions because of the small sample size used to produce it.

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