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Sales of new US homes tumbled in February to a new record low and prices
dipped to the lowest in more than seven years.
The sales of the new single-family houses in February 2011 were at a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000, according to estimates released
jointly today by the US Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban
This is 16 9% below the revised January rate of 301,000 and is
28.0% below the February 2010 estimate of 347,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2011 was
$202,100; the average sales price was $246,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate
of new houses for sale at the end of February was 186,000. This represents a
supply of 8.9 months at the current sales rate.
The full-year sales total for 2010 was revised upward slightly
to 323,000 - - a 13.9% drop from 2009.
The government said new-home sales last month dipped in all
four regions, including a 57.1% drop in the Northeast and a 27.5% decline in the
Midwest. Sales slid 14.7% in the West and slipped 6.3% in the South.
US existing-home sales fell in February following three straight
monthly increases, according to the National Association of Realtors
said on Monday. Distressed/bank sales accounted for 39% of the total.
Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that
include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 9.6% to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88m in February from an upwardly revised
5.40m in January, and are 2.8% below the 5.02m pace in February 2010.
CNBC's Rick Santelli & Diana Olick break down the numbers from February: