Buoyed by the 38.5 percent surge in sales in the West, new home sales in the U. S. increased two percent in Feb. to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 512,000 units, according to statistics released by the Commerce Department, reports USAToday to MHProNews. The strong numbers from the West overshadowed the decline of new home sales in the South, Midwest and Northeast.
“At this stage, it is unclear whether new-home sales are plateauing or are still in an uptrend,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief U. S. economist at MFR, a forecasting firm.
While sales of new homes are slightly below last year’s pace, purchases of existing homes also fell in Feb., minus 7.1 percent, as the spring home buying season begins. Builder confidence remains the same as the previous month at 58, where any number above 50 indicates builders feel the market is good rather than poor.
The number of new homes priced below $200,000 has fallen, while those homes priced above $400,000 has risen, creating the shortage of affordable housing, a condition that has risen in many markets.
Limited inventory has pushed up prices on existing homes. Median home sales price rose in Feb. to $210,800, a 4.4 percent increase from one year ago. While U. S. homebuilders remain optimistic about the housing market, many anticipate a slow down in sales. ##
(Photo credit: Getty Images/Paul J. Richards)
Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.