WASHINGTON: Sales of new single-family homes in the United States surged in February to a seven-year high, accelerating for the third consecutive month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
New-home sales advanced 7.8 percent in February from January to an annual rate of 539,000 units.
Most analysts had forecast a decline of 3.3 percent for the month, which was marked by unusually bad winter weather in large areas of the country.
Compared with a year ago, new-home sales in February were up 24.8 percent.
The monthly data series is notorious for sharp revisions; the department upwardly revised the prior two months’ sales.
In February, the median price of new homes sold fell 4.8 percent to $275,500.
The number of new homes on the market at the end of February was 210,000.
At the current sales pace, that represented a 4.7-months supply, a full month lower than in January and the tightest inventory since May 2014.