New home sales fall to record low
By Chavon Sutton
March 24, 2010
Sales of new homes fell to a record low in February, according to a government report released Wednesday, as the glut of foreclosed homes and a shaky economy continued to dampen the housing market.
New home sales fell 2.2% to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 308,000 last month, compared to a upwardly revised annual rate of 315,000 in January, the Census Bureau said.
It was the lowest rate since the government began keeping records in 1963 and marked the fourth straight month of declines.
The drop surprised economists. A consensus of those surveyed by Briefing.com expected February sales to rise to an annual rate of 315,000.
New home sales were down 13% from February 2009.
New home sales fell in every region of the United States, except the West region, which saw a 20.8% jump in new home sales. The Northeast was hardest hit, with a 20% decline in February.
The Census Bureau data followed a report from the National Association of Realtors on Tuesday that showed existing home sales slipped in February, as the housing market continues to struggle with a gradual recovery of demand and a glut of inventory.
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