WASHINGTON (AP) — Buyers of new homes plunged in February to the fewest on records dating back nearly half a century, a dismal sign for an already-weak housing market.
The Commerce Department says new-home sales fell 16.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000 homes. It’s the third straight monthly decline and far below the 700,000-a-year pace that economists view as healthy.
The median price of a new home dropped nearly 14 percent to $202,100, the lowest since December 2003. New home prices are now 30 percent higher than of those being resold.
Builders have struggled to compete with a wave of foreclosures that has lowered the price of previously occupied homes. High unemployment, tight credit and uncertainty over prices have also kept many potential buyers from making purchases.
By The Associated Press