February Sees a Decline in New Home Sales
Economy

Surprisingly Low New Home Sales in February Contradict Market Expectations

In February, the sales of newly constructed homes decreased, going against the trend of an increase in sales of previously owned homes. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, if the sales of new homes were to continue at the same rate throughout the year, approximately 662,000 homes would be sold. This figure is slightly below the expectations of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and Wall Street Journal, who predicted an annual rate of 675,000 new home sales.

Despite the decline from January’s revised annual rate, the number of new home sales in February was still 5.9% higher than the same time last year. However, existing home sales saw a boost of 9.5% in February due to slightly lower interest rates that alleviated some of the market’s stagnation.

The high interest rates have made current homeowners wary of selling their homes and purchasing new ones with higher mortgage rates. This has led to a reduced inventory of homes for sale, prompting economists to suggest that building more new homes would help stimulate the market. Nancy Vanden Houten, an economist at Oxford Economics predicts that the pace of new home sales will increase throughout 2024 supported by lower mortgage rates, increased supply and a scarcity of existing homes for sale.

Overall, despite a slight decline in February’s sales figures for newly constructed homes

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