The Home Buyer's Korner

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March 25th, 2015

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New Home Sales for February 2015

New Home Sales

New-home sales skyrocketed to nearly eight percent in February while harsh winter weather failed to deter home buyers. Sales of single-family homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000, which was up 7.8% from January, as reported by the Commerce Department this week. Housing economists’ had forecasted 470,000 units on an annual rate and monthly decline. January’s new home sales were also revised up to 500,000 from 481,000 previously reported.

February’s rate was the highest since February 2008. The last time new-home sales had back-to-back months with rates at or topping 500,000 was in April-May 2008, according to Census Bureau data.

Preliminary figures released Tuesday show February sales rates compared with January’s surged 152 percent in the Northeast, fell 13 percent in the Midwest, rose 10 percent in the South and fell 6 percent in the West. It’s worth noting that the South and West account for the bulk of the national total.

Housing economists caution that the monthly new-home sales data are volatile because the sample sizes are small and the seasonal adjustments can produce unreliable data. Last month’s figures could be revised down in next month’s report as more data come in.

The median price of homes sold last month was $275,000. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the supply of new homes for sale fell 1.6% from January but rose almost 13% from a year earlier.

Home Builders are modestly optimistic about the industry this year, citing shortages of available lots, labor shortages and tight underwriting standards as factors that continue damper expectations.

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